The internet, digital technologies and social media tools present learning spaces that are present both inside and outside of the school’s physical environment. Spaces such as a school Intranet, some blogs and wikis, will be available to students in their homes, inside and outside of school hours. Schools have a responsibility to inform parents and/or carers of any learning spaces that they make available to students as well as the expected behaviours and protocols surrounding their use.
Parents and/or carers have an important role in helping their children use digital technologies safely and responsibly. Schools can assist parents to support their children in the digital world by providing them with useful information about existing and emerging technologies, engaging them in the development and review of policies and inviting them to information sessions or distributing handouts on school expectations of acceptable use.
Parent information sessions
Parent information sessions should focus on the safety and wellbeing implications of online environments rather than the technical details. Information evenings can raise parent awareness about the safe and responsible use of digital technologies and provide parents with ideas about measures that could be taken at home.
While school and home environments may not be exactly alike, schools can still promote general safety strategies and ease parental concerns. To this end, schools might find their Student Engagement Policy and Acceptable Use Agreements a useful starting place for discussion.
There are also many groups within the school community that schools may form partnerships with to further support safe, responsible and ethical online behaviour. These include Victoria Police, local sporting clubs, youth services organisations, Victorian Women’s Trust, etc.
Schools can also empower their students by forming Student Action Teams (SATs). SAT can be used to promote awareness of cybersafe behaviours and practices in their school community. They may also be used deliver the information sessions to the school community.
Presentation for schools
This informative and engaging 25 slide PowerPoint presentation has been designed by Robyn Treyvaud, Educational Consultant and Founder of Cyber Safe Kids.
It aims to help parents understand the kind of digital technologies young people enjoy, the challenges and risks these might bring, and some resources to help parents manage the media diet in their family.
The presentation can be used as it is or schools may wish to tailor it to their school communities’ needs. It includes comprehensive speaker notes and guidance for getting your audience involved in discussion.
'Growing Up Digital' (ppt - 6.22mb) - parent presentation (PPT - 6.3Mb)
Slide 8 includes 'Go Figure' - a short video full of facts and figures about online safety. For more information, see:
Go Figure - Family Online Safety Institute
Parent fact sheet
Parents and carers are their child's first role model when it comes to online behaviour.
To encourage the safe and respectful use of social media in your school community and to provide tips to parents for being a positive role model, you might distribute the following fact sheet to parents: