Digital Diligence

How parents can keep kids safe while homeschooling online

In between uploading homework, downloading new lessons, and trying to get kids in front of a laptop for a live-stream lesson, digital learning during COVID-19 has got a lot of parents frazzled (Let’s just pause here and give teachers a long, slow clap for doing this day in and day out).

As parents navigating this new digital collaboration with schools, we still have to be mindful that even though learning is taking place in our home, the same safety rules and boundaries apply as the real-life classroom. Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure you know your children’s user name and passwords for all digital learning platforms, including any third party websites educators are directing children to (e.g. math game sites or digital book libraries).
  • Ask your child’s school if there are parent portals for the digital platforms they are using. This helps parents stay involved with interactions between teachers and students, while still giving their child a sense of privacy and responsibility for their own student account.
  • If your child is video chatting with educators it should be done in common/high traffic household areas (bedrooms/bathrooms are off limits). Proper clothing attire should also be worn.
  • Maintain a formal tone to all online interactions with educators and school staff, and conduct conversations through school authorized platforms, websites, and email addresses. Students and educators should not be communicating in any form outside of school hours.
  • Refrain from friending or following educators’ personal accounts on social media, and ensure your child does not do that either. Any educators’ social media accounts should be authorized by the school, and content should be tied to lesson outcomes and activities.
  • Consider your child’s privacy when consenting to schools posting any student work, digital pictures, or other identifying information on social media or websites.

And, don’t worry parents, you got this.