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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!

Pro-tech-ting Children Online

Wisconsin DPI and Wisconsin DOJ have teamed up again to bring you some information about helping kids use online digital tools and resources in a responsible way.  This series will focus on how to be proactive in planning, how to be reactive to situations that occur, and what resources and supports exist for you to rely on throughout this process.  In this first module, learn more about how you can help prepare kids for online environments and what to watch for as their trusted adult.

pro-tech-ting image
Click image above for access to module #1


Interactive Safety Resource for Families!!!

The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Department of Public Instruction continue to work together to keep families safe online. 

interact! module #3 is geared specifically for parents/guardians to build their knowledge and understanding of how they can encourage healthy online behaviors in the home.  You will have an opportunity to interactively learn about:

  • the importance of regular online safety discussions
  • current digital citizenship/leadership trends and practices
  • family media contract creation for YOUR family's situation
English Version
Spanish Version

More About 'interact'

interact! is an online, interactive e-course created for parents/guardians to complete with their children. The goal of this experience is to spark basic online safety discussions in the home while learning about safe and healthy online choices. This 30-45 minute module provides families with the opportunity to review their own tech use, interactively complete activities and scenarios, and create conversations about safe and healthy choices.

This e-course gives parents/guardians 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 create a family media plan specific to YOUR family.
Be your child’s trusted adult. Interact!, and stay safe!

English Version
Spanish Version

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 




When you, a friend, or the community needs help, you can make it happen. Speak up and speak out by reporting a tip! The Speak Up, Speak Out Resource Center will respond quickly and confidentially to make sure we can get help to you or to someone who is hurting, struggling, or in danger.

Common Sense Media - Digital Life Intro

Tips for you as a parent/guardian to be involved with your kids:

  • 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.

Common Sense Media - Teens and Tech: The New Landscape

Social Media Tip Sheets (provided by WI DOJ)

Tips on how to set up apps, manage content/settings, and safely protect your private information.

Additional Resources for Parents

A resource for parents by parents about apps, services, and platforms used by kids and teens
Google Family Link: Tips for families about technology use with your kids
Get wise about online safety so you can help your kids make smart and safe decisions

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." 

Among the AAP recommendations found on their website are:
  • 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.

For more information about the AAP recommendations and to access the Family Media Plan builder, go to the AAP Website.

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)

3 Privacy Laws parents should be aware of (in simple terms from

  • 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 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
    • Gender
    • Other information that alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student

DOJ "Protect Kids Online" Podcast Series

How to Report Incidents

If you are aware of any situations online that may, in any way, exploit or harm a child, you can report the incident to the CyberTipline.  You can also contact the Wisconsin ICAC (Internet Crime Against Children) Task Force at (608) 266-1671, or call local law enforcement.

Additional Parent Resources/Links

Protecting Kids Online
Parent Tech Tips
Cybersecurity Made Clear
Social Media Guide

Find these and more at NetSmartz and Common Sense Media

For questions about this information, contact Amanda Albrecht (608) 267-1071