Student safety and wellness is, and has always been, a top priority for us at Ignite. We strive to educate our students on many fronts, including digital citizenship, and have implemented technology solutions to protect them within our gated online community. However, the recent news about an online predator impacting the lives of 92 victims in Alberta is alarming and has sparked an increased awareness of the need for parents and educators alike to take necessary precautions to protect our children/students.
While the technology has changed over time, the need to bridge the digital gap between parents and their children has not. My doctoral thesis, “Exploring the Digital Gap Between Parents and Their Adolescent Children” remains as relevant today as it did when it was published over 20 years ago (in 2002). There now are numerous resources available to support parents and families on this front, and the two simple recommendations that came out of my research still ring true today and are typical of what is found in current day research/resources:
- No internet (computer) in bedrooms (of children 13 and under), and
- Talk to/with your kids. Get them to share with you what they are doing online in a non-defensive way, and don’t take no for an answer, particularly when it comes to questions about sharing personal information online.
In my doctoral thesis, I cited data from what is now called Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. They continue to be a leading resource for parents and educators, with fun games to help start the conversation with kids, along with tip sheets and guides. Common Sense Media also offers some excellent resources for parents regarding online safety.
Both Ignite and non-Ignite parents are invited to join us for an information session about Internet Safety on Thursday, March 2nd at 6 pm. In the session, we will share information about:
- “look-fors” in your child’s behaviour indicating that there may be something concerning happening online;
- internet safety tips;
- online safety resources;
- how to talk with your children about internet safety in ways that won’t get their backs up.
Click here to register for the session, and feel free to forward the link to anyone you think might be interested.
Head of School