Recently, over 20 staff and 50 parents from UPS attended the Growing Up Online Parent Information Session with Susan McLean, leading Australian cyber safety expert.
The significant number of school staff in attendance speaks volumes about the seriousness of this topic. Now more than ever, teachers and school leadership are spending an increasing amount of time responding to issues arising from children’s use of technology. Not only is this of concern from a child wellbeing perspective, but also due to the impact on the wider peer group and class teachers.
The Education and Wellbeing Committee recognises the important role of parents in encouraging a healthy attitude to online behaviour and technology use within the school community. We acknowledge how challenging it can be for families to navigate this topic on their own and we are committed to providing ongoing support and guidance.
As a start, we would like to share what we believe are the key messages from Susan’s presentation:
Stay involved in your child’s use of technology. The most important protective factor for your child’s wellbeing is active parenting in the online space. Take an interest in what your child is doing online – talk soon and talk often.
Keep all devices in common areas, and in particular out of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Fortnite is not an appropriate game for primary-school aged children.
Games and apps that are popular with children are the apps of choice for online predators. These include games such as Fortnite and apps such as Musical.ly (TikTok) and Kik.
Be aware that the minimum age for use of social media apps is usually at least 13 years old (due to US legislation: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 1998). Check the age ratings set by app stores before downloading an app.
Install filters and activate parental controls on all devices.
Susan’s 27 years of experience with national corporations, schools and the police force offer a unique view into the use of technology in the modern era and we’d encourage you to sign up to her Facebook page Susan McLean – Cyber Safety Expert. Also, please click here for Susan’s CyberSafety fact sheets.
We urge families to engage in this conversation and support one another. There is strength in numbers and together we can ensure a safer and healthier community for our children.
If anyone wishes to get in touch with our committee to discuss this further, please feel free to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
UPS Education and Wellbeing Committee