Remote learning is a new concept for everyone, including parents and guardians, and so, there are bound to be a few teething problems as well. Take an active interest in their learning and support them whenever they need assistance.
Monitoring your child’s online activities may seem intrusive but is important for parents to know what their children are doing in the digital world. Encourage them to remain polite and not to post or send any negative comments online. Here are a few other ways to monitor their online activity:
Creating routines that can become habits can help to gently guide your family throughout the school day. Try to stick to a daily routine and use the timetable or schedule that schools have sent home to help children keep on top of their studies.
Remote learning will require more interaction with devices such as computers, laptops and tablets. Parents need to remember that seat time doesn’t equal learning time. Teacher’s will advise their students on screen breaks however it won’t hurt to keep a check on their time online or encourage them to get some fresh air/exercise.
You will need to consider where your PC or laptop is placed if live video is being used. Ensure to keep the background neutral with no personal information visible. Try to move learning devices out of the bedroom as this could be deemed as inappropriate.
This is all dependent on how the school your child attends implements remote learning. Students may be required to download certain software or apps. Whilst these are generally safe to use, like any other new app or platform, parents should still implement safety controls as a precaution.
All communication with school staff needs to be directed through approved school channels. This could be through the school’s online portal or the relevant secure messaging site.
Schools should have a policy on remote learning that you will need to familiarise yourself with. This policy will explain what is expected of yourself, the teachers and your child both online and offline. Note if it is a school provided laptop, should your child decide to visit a website or download a program that is not allowed on the school’s devices, they could find themselves in violation of the policy and in trouble at school.
Ask the teacher about the software that will be used. Take time to research the features, capabilities and restrictions before the school year begins. Engage in communication with teachers where possible and try to feed back progress and development as well as any helpful suggestions around the learning process. Be transparent but remain professional and only use official channels to communicate.
Ensure your child is doing okay both mentally and physically. Children may be online for 5-6 hours a day and they will need to give their eyes a rest. Get them outside to do something as fresh air is good for you. As parents, you will need to check in and ask — ‘How was school today? I know you were at home, but what did you learn? How were you treated? How are your friends coping?
Keep your child’s online identity anonymous by avoiding usernames with identifying details. Anything that may hint at their age, location, last name or other important details should be avoided. Talk to your child about online safety and make sure they know they should never give out personal information online, even if the person they are chatting with seems to be a friend.
It’s important to build trust so if your child is concerned about something they see on the internet, they can ask you without fear of reprisal. Help them understand the dangers associated with being on the web, how to create strong passwords, the dangers of phishing attacks and posting on social media.
It’s important, then, to make sure your children’s phones are protected by lock screens. These screens require users to enter a password, code, or pattern before they can unlock a phone and access its features.
Children can be careless with their smartphones during the school day. A lock screen won’t keep every thief out of your child’s phone. But they do increase the odds that someone who nabs your child’s phone won’t be able to access the messages, photos, and files contained on it.
If your children are using a laptop with a webcam, cover it with tape or with a webcam blocker. Criminals can take over webcams to spy on computer users. Fortunately, covering your webcam with a piece of tape or taped paper is an easy solution. If your child needs to use their webcams for a Zoom meeting with their teacher? Just remove the tape and replace it when the online meeting ends.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices. As school shifts more to online teaching this year, cyberbullying has the potential to become even more common. Talk to your child about appropriate and inappropriate interactions with their peers online, and help them identify behaviors that may constitute as cyberbullying. If they see their others cyberbullying, ask that they alert you immediately.
For more information on how to keep yourself, your business and your family safe online follow Cyber Angels SA on any of our Social Media channels.