Being a parent today can be difficult, especially when technology is such a huge part of kids' everyday life. Just because you didn't grow up in the same environment doesn't mean you can't be informed about making smart choices while using technology. Below are some resources that can help!
Interactive Safety Resource for Families!!! (Now available in English and Spanish)
The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Department of Public Instruction is teaming up to keep families safe online.
The departments have launched a program called "Interact!" that will give parents resources to have conversations with their children about internet safety.
Interact is an online, interactive e-course created for parents and guardians to complete with their children with the goal of sparking basic online safety discussions in the home. This 30-minute module provides parents with the opportunity to review their own tech use to set a good example; interactive activities to complete alongside their children, and follow-up resources and activities to keep the discussions going.
This e-course gives parents the opportunity to set themselves up as a trusted adult in their child’s life. If the child sees something online they don’t understand or that makes them uncomfortable, they know they have someone to reach out to. The e-course even provides some ideas on how to start and continue these discussions, along with some bonus tips to help break the ice on awkward topics!
Be your child’s trusted adult. Interact, and stay safe!
'Interact' Resource Module(English)
'Interact' Resource Module (Spanish)
Sample Family Media/Device plans
These samples should be used as guidance for creating your own family plan and not necessarily used in there entirety.
Personal Safety and Security Tips for Parents
- Be Involved - Know the online environments your children are a part of. Take time to surf the Internet with them. Show interest in what they do and who they interact with online. Use online situations as teachable moments and demonstrate the correct way to handle them.
- Support Positive Choices - Allow your child more freedom online as they demonstrate responsibility. Reward their good decision making when they can show competence in safe and secure online behavior.
- Help Them Think Critically - Show your children how to identify credible, accurate online information. Teach them to be careful with the content they share, post or download.
- Explain the Consequences - The Internet is public and all digital information shared can be taken. Help them understand that the things they share online can affect reputation, friendships, and even future employment opportunities.
- Empower Your Children to Handle Issues - Work with your child(ren) on strategies to handle bullying, unwanted contact, or hurtful comments should they arise. Be sure they have a plan to deal with such issues like not retaliating, blocking the person, telling an adult, or filing a complaint.
- Encourage Your Children to be Digital Leaders - Help them to master the safe and secure techniques of using online digital resources. Support them in their safe interactions in online communities. Encourage them to help others make good, safe choices.
- Hold Your Child(ren) Accountable - Ask your child(ren) to sign an Internet Safety Pledge after talking about being safe online.
How Much is too Much ( Home Screen Time)?
We live our lives immersed in technology and that brings both positive and negative effects to healthy living and development. With technology being such an integral part of our lives, how do we know when to put it down or turn it off and take a break? Well, there is no 'one size fits all' answer to this question. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the nation's largest group of pediatricians, has developed a new set of recommendations and resources. These resources include an interactive media planning tool and timing calculator to help determine what is good for your family's particular situation. The AAP recommends that "parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family."
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid the use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
- For children ages, 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep for children under 5 years of age
Technology has made a huge impact on the learning experience in and out of schools. It is an incredible tool that expands access to education and allows us to better engage students in the learning process. Just as important as technology is in the learning process, so too, are sleep and active living. So how do we get the most out of the learning process while living a healthy, active life? The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released some guidelines about physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep for children 5 and younger. Read more about their findings and guidelines.
Instructional Student Data Privacy (what parents should know)
Many school forms require personal and, sometimes, sensitive information… Your child’s personal information is protected by law. Asking schools and other organizations to safeguard your child’s information can help minimize your child’s risk of identity theft. - Federal Trade Commission
Federal Privacy Laws:
US Department of Health & Human Services:
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act)
US Department of Education:
- FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)
- PPRA (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment)
Federal Trade Commission:
- COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
3 Privacy Laws parents should be aware of (in simple terms from tech.ed.gov):
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
PPRA is intended to protect the rights of parents and students in two ways:
- It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors make instructional materials available for inspection by parents if those materials will be used in connection with an ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate; and
- It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals certain information.
- COPPA is set to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. COPPA was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.
Wisconsin Data Privacy Links for Parents
- How Data Empowers Parents - Data Quality Campaign
- Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding Student Privacy
- Student Data Privacy Overview Video (4 min)
- Overview of Purpose of Data and School Commitments - CoSN
- Parent Guide on Educational Data - Data Quality Campaign and National PTA
- What Educators and Parents Think about Educational Data -Data Quality Campaign
- US Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO)
How Much Do You Know About Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Your School District?
- Wisconsin DPI Protecting PII Information
- Personally-identifiable information is defined by district policy to include, but is not limited to:
- Student’s name
- Name of student’s parents or other family members including mother’s maiden name
- Address of student or student’s family
- Any identifier such as a social security number, student number, or other indirect identifiers
- Biometric records
- Student’s birth date, age, location of birth
- Other information that alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student
DOJ "Protect Kids Online" Podcast Series