Saturday, March 15, 2014

Internet Safety - An Open Letter to Parents

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Chase using Google Earth
Dear Parents of Students in my Class,


This year I will be sharing my passion of integrating technology into our classroom.  Creating a classroom community with our blog, engaging students using Google Apps for Education and showing students all the exciting learning tools we can use with devices in our classroom will enhance our learning experiences.


As always, I want to explain internet safety to my students as well as their families. Our school’s first priority is safety for all students, whether it is in the physical classroom, recess or online.


During the year, I will continually be providing information for your child to be safe online, how to have proper netiquette as we blog, and how important it is not to copy pictures and material that we don’t have the right to use. I’m a very conscious user of the internet and will model that continuously.  I have an active YouTube channel, which I post videos that showcase our learning, yet always following guidelines of safety and netiquette.


There are many safety tips for internet use with children, and below are some key points to consider:

1.  Establish expectations and limits - Many parents in my past few classes have noted an increase of interest in the technology world as I share my passion.  Within our classroom, we establish expectations about what sites we are allowed to go to as well as what our limits are online.  It’s important to do this at home as well.  Your child playing MineCraft for 5 hours online doesn’t give them ample exercise that is needed to stimulate brain growth.  

Please see Family Media Agreement as a great start.

2.  Be a good cyber citizen and role model! As I post in our classroom blog, I remind the children that I wouldn’t post something mean or hurtful and that they shouldn’t either.  This should be modeled at home as well.  Also, remind students that if they ever are uncomfortable with a post because it seems hurtful or unkind, they should report it to their parents or myself right away.  
Please watch this video of Advice for our Classroom Blog made by my students last year.  



And please visit this site to see how I will be teaching about Blogging Netiquette.

3.  Search safely - Many students love the idea of searching for pictures and information that they are interested in.  

Please watch this great video that shows how to LOCK safesearch on your home computer.



4.  Keep Computer/Tablet/Device in an open area in your home where adults are present - This is important because children are naturally curious and aren’t as fearful of touching a wrong button as some of us are.  Even in my classroom, I have had students try to play a math game online during reading time.  A natural consequence is given, which is not being able to use a device for the rest of the day.  


As I continue teaching and training your children in our digital classroom, I will strive to show them how to become a great digital citizen. Please watch the following video for parents provided by CommomSenseMedia.  

Thank you for reviewing this letter and I look forward to having your child in my class this year. Please take a moment to fill out the form below to let me know that you have read this letter and understand its content.


Sincerely,


Rebecca Muller
2nd Grade Teacher
W.T. Elementary




Credit to:
CommonSenseMedia.org for their wealth of knowledge and resources for students and parents.
Safesearch.org