The days are getting cooler, the evenings darker sooner, and that only means one thing….it’s time to head back to school! Did you find that throughout the summer you were busy and that the kids were not online as much, but as September draws near and they are getting excited to head back to school they are picking up their devices and connecting with friends again?
September is almost like the New Year. It’s a good time to sit with your children and look at their social media accounts, double check their privacy settings are set high and that no app or platform changes have been made throughout the summer. If you’ve just gotten them a new phone head over to the location settings and turn off the location on photos so that when they post a photo a map to their location will not be embedded into the photo. The other important thing to do is to know their passwords to all accounts. Have a conversation with them about what platforms you are using, which ones they are on and safety concerns about being online, add in a discussion about online ‘stranger danger.’ When you talk to them about social media discuss how they feel when you post pictures of them online – do you ask for their permission? What digital footprint are you creating for your child?
Every year we see more and more schools and teachers using social media to communicate with students and parents. As parents we love this! We enjoy seeing what the kids are doing throughout the day, getting classroom notes & reminders, and when they go a field trip we weren’t able to volunteer for what a great boost to our day when we see their smiling faces on the trip and how much fun they are having learning.
With the increased use of social media, have you discussed how you would handle a classroom social media account with your child or teacher should they decide to use one? With all social media platforms there are things to consider before you jump in and start engaging and posting away. How will you handle it if your teacher has an account and wants all families and students to join so he/she can communicate? Do you have to set up an account? No you don’t….and under the child and protection law each platform does have age restrictions to protect children so whether you decide as the parent to use it is your choice, but your child definitely does not have to be on it.
Times are changing and before you log in and join Twitter or whatever the social platform your school/teacher is asking you to join, you need to have an open conversation with your child and teacher about social media.
Some things to consider and discuss:
Does your school board have a social media policy? If you don’t know what it is…ask
Does your teacher/classroom have a social media policy? Will it be communicated for all to be aware of?
Does your teacher/school get student and parent permission before posting or ‘tagging’ or child?
What platforms will your classroom be using?
Are privacy settings set at a high level, using secure or verified accounts, or is it public for all to see?
Will your teacher post full face pictures of your child and use names online?
Does your teacher link the social platform to your classroom website or school website and put class timetable online?
Will your teacher be online in the evenings to help with homework if your child should need it?
Will your teacher follow students back and engage with them?
Will your teacher keep it as a one way communication tool, or will they engage and answer parent questions online?
Will your teacher use it as a mix of both professional and personal information or is it strictly a classroom account?
Does your teacher delete or unfollow previous year’s parents/students and start fresh every year?
If you choose not to sign up and join the platforms how will communication be relayed to you?
As we’ve said before, we LOVE social media, we use it daily, we are on all the platforms and it’s a fantastic fun way for kids and us to learn and grow. As always we encourage everyone to be kind online, post positive, not to share personal information and to never meet anyone in person that you’ve met online, and to start talking about social media and the ways in which we are using it. As always you want to be #sociallysafe.
About Socially Safe
Stacy Maynard & Kerry Hills are moms with successful social media businesses. We have a passion for helping children understand how to use social media safely. We have joined together to implement into classrooms and the community our Socially Safe, Socially Fun, Social Media programs. We are Moms of kids between the ages of 8 to 15, so we understand the need to help our kids stay safe and create a positive digital footprint. Social Media is not going away and we are passionate about teaching our kids how to use it, have fun and stay Socially Safe.