Friday, January 25, 2013

Cyberguide for parents

Do you know how SnapChat can protect your teens' privacy or lead them into trouble?
Do you have pass codes to your children's digital accounts?
Have you thought about setting up a cell-phone contract with your kids?

If any of those questions pique your interest,  you might benefit from the special "cyber awareness edition" of Bailey Middle School's Bronco Times.  The Huntersville school is one of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's  "bring your own techology"  pioneers,  and Principal Chad Thomas and technology facilitator Chasidy Parker have been working hard to keep parents up to speed.

I learned a lot from the newsletter.  I'd never even heard of SnapChat,  an app that lets people share photos that are erased in a few seconds.  "Users can send time limited photos that might be embarrassing or just silly without a significant fear that it will find its way to other social media sites where it might live forever,"  according to an column included in the Bailey newsletter. But that can tempt teens to send explicit photos,  the article warns,  and recipients can capture a screen shot that survives after the photo "self-destructs."

The newsletter includes a sample cell-phone contract,  and this list of questions for parents to ponder:

1. Does my child's device have restrictions set with a second pass code that only I know?
2. Are my child's social media sites private or public?
3. Does my child have multiple social media accounts (some public and some hidden)?
4. Do I know all of my child's pass codes?
5. Do I limit the number of hours my child spends on a device or online daily?
6. Do I communicate with my child by phone or text more than in person?
7. Does my child communicate with others online through Xbox Live or other gaming ports?
8. Do you allow your child to load any apps (free or paid) or do you preview them first?
9. Do I have open access to my child's phone at any time?
10. What is "sexting" and does my child know about this activity?


Jeff Wise said...

Facebook has their own version of Snapchat as part of the Poke app.

Patriots QB Tom Brady used Snapchat to send a text to a Ravens player apologizing for his boorish play last weekend - a smart move in that case because there's no paper trail to pass on to reporters.

Still, in probably 95% of the situations Snapchat and its ilk won't make our society a better place.

Anonymous said...

The kids still have free reign on the bus with iPads. No governing body or supervisors present. Imagine what your setting yourself up to in transportation daily. The videos and sites the kids will visit. CMS your not ready for this anytime soon. The lawsuits will rain in for the fist year at over $20 million so budget for that Heath.

Shamash said...

As a matter of fact, I do control what is put on their devices, including our home computers, iPad, Kindles, and Vtech.

My kids are too young for their own phones just yet (IMO), though.

Now, if I send my child to school with any device, who controls it then?

Do they use the same software I use, or will there be a school district standard?

And what if my parental monitoring software doesn't work with their firewall?

Do I have to give my password to the teachers or do they give me a password to use?

And how do I monitor the teachers use of that password list?

Because I doubt that they will memorize the password as I have.

And I'm talking about elementary school kids here, not teenagers who should have a little more freedom.

But, at some point, someone will find a way around nearly any restrictions parents or schools put on these devices.

And that's when the real fun begins.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

Of course, with technology (especially info tech) where there's a will there's usually a way:


So much for Snapchat...

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are trying to be responsible parents by limiting (balancing) the use of tech devices in our childrens' lives. Now we have CMS encouraging unlimited use of personal tech devices for elem aged students? We cannot support such a plan. There are computers in every classroom, media centers and computer labs to use for googling information and putting together powerpoint presentations and imovies. But, the kids are having a great time playing video games in class and on the school bus now. Who is managing this? This was a knee jerk, poorly planned initiative.

Anonymous said...

Well Said

CMeS Policy:

Ready, Fire, Aim

Anonymous said...

Maybe CMS should spend another $100,000+ on a survey or $10 million on tests that were never used. Do you think teachers deserve their health, dental and vision benefits back first?

Anonymous said...

Morrison and BOE