Of late, we have been confronted with a number of negative student behaviors, i.e., cyber-bullying, harassments, fatigue, and distracted learning. A common link that exacerbates the problem appears to be unregulated, unfettered use of social media, as in FACEBOOK, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM and general cellphone/computer technology use.
Although these tools can be used for very good reasons, they can also be abused. For the school, I ask the teachers to have a plan and expectation regarding the use of technology, Chromebooks, websites and cellphones. If you don’t, “you get what you get”.
Certainly, in the home, if you do not have a plan, if you have not discussed rules and use of technology with your child, if there is not a time where the technology is turned off, THEN “you get what you get”.
As I speak to students that are harassed on FACEBOOK and a student reveals that they have two thousand “friends”, I am overwhelmed to think of the possibilities of predators “trolling” the child’s site and information. This is really dangerous. Look, teens are trying to figure out their social setting everyday with their peers. Many do this well. However, missteps occur during this time of life. They learn in those moments. Let’s not just hand the children a tool that complicates their world exponentially without talking to them about expectations and limitations regarding its use.
The school addresses cyber safety in the Freshman Seminar. Please visit the attached websites for more information. Review information with your child, discuss limits and expectations regarding technology use. It's not about their privacy, it's about their protection. Don’t just leave this for your child to sort out with a stranger online. Being an informed and involved parent is never a bad thing. Visit the sites. Have a conversation with your child.