Growing up in the digital age provides unlimited opportunities for students to connect, learn and share information. While this has many benefits, families can feel overwhelmed as they navigate the new challenges associated with raising technologically savvy kids. Having an open dialogue with students about making smarter, safer online decisions helps prevent some of the negative consequences that can occur in the cyberspace.

What You/Parents Can Do

  • Create an agreement with your family on how to responsibly use your smart phones and devices with the The Smart Talk tool.
  • Review the 7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting tool by the Family Online Safety Institute to better prepare yourself for the challenges of raising tech savvy children.
  • Start a conversation with your family about practicing good digital citizenship while:
  • Familiarize yourself with the laws that protect Student Data Privacy.
  • Be diligent about what your kids are watching on all screens, including the TV. Use the TV Parental Guidelines from the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to make informed decisions about what television content is appropriate for your children.

Free Programs Your PTA Can Host/Use

  • Use The Smart Talk Promotional Toolkit to spread awareness of The Smart Talk tool for families.
  • Start a Connecting Families program with your PTA to support an ongoing dialogue in your school community about good digital citizenship. From cyberbullying and photo sharing to digital footprints and online safety, the Connecting Families program helps parents and kids address important topics and have meaningful conversations about making great choices in their digital lives.
  • ConnectSafely: Parents, teens, educators, and advocates will find tips, safety advice, articles, news, analysis, video and other resources to promote safe, effective use of connected technology.
  • How to Be a Good Digital Parent: A program of the Family Online Safety Institute designed to teach parents and other caregivers how to confidently navigate the web with their kids. It consists of a comprehensive toolkit that PTA members can use to host an online safety event at school. Toolkit contains presentation, presenter’s guide, audience handouts and FAQ.
  • Netsmartz (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children): An interactive, educational program that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on and offline.
  • Project iGuardian: A program to help kids, teens, and parents to be smart about online safety and stay safe from online sexual preditors.