Safety at school
At North Melbourne Primary School, we foster a safe environment for students to explore how to use technology responsibly. When technology is used at school, it is supervised and the internet is filtered by the Department of Education.
We provide a safe learning environment by:
- Teaching positive & responsible online behaviours.
- Implementing an “Acceptable usage of technology Policy” that outline student and staff expectations when using technology.
- Linking cyber-safety and to our school wellbeing program.
- Enrolling all devices in our school management system (JAMF) which provides safe access to our school network, and school approved apps.
Safety at home: simple things you can do
Setting up a safe home environment at home is easier than you may think – and it is incredibly important. Here are our recommendations:
- Set up “Screen Time”. It only takes a couple of minutes but then allows parents to restrict apps and websites (e.g all 13+ content) and set time limits for particular apps. It can even disable the iPad over night. See below for instructions. Screen Time does have limitations, but there are many paid alternatives, such as “Family Zone” that can give you complete peace of mind.
- Set expectations such as: technology is only used in shared spaces (e.g not in the bedroom), set time restrictions, and ask that your child shows you what they are doing online..
- Do not allow your child to use social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Discord, Messages, Group chat functions on games) – they all have a 13+ age limit and can be dangerous environments for children.
- If your child has a mobile phone, set the same expectations for its use.
- Restrict Messages: Messages is a great way to stay in touch with your child, however can be a risky way for your child to communicate with others – particularly due to the common issues that occur with group chat. If you do not wish to restrict messages, ask your child to show you their message threads. If they are reluctant, it is a potential sign they are using it inappropriately.
Be involved in your child’s use of technology
There are about 2 billion children and teenagers on the planet. Children enjoy a challenge and will work hard to get what they want. There are a whole range of creative ways children have found to bypass restrictions – from screen recording whilst you enter your password, through to changing the iPad time and date to extend time allowances. Luckily, for each of the hacks there is a solution. This website lists some of the common ones.
The best way to ensure your child is safe and responsible online is to be involved. Talk to your child about their technology use – look at the apps they use and the people they communicate with.