Hello OCRS families,
We have noticed (and families have reported to us) an increase in conflicts and disagreements between students that have been happening online outside of school. These conflicts have been happening via online chat, social media apps, and online games. Unfortunately, even though these conflicts are taking place outside of school, they are causing problems and interrupting learning during the school day. Students are bringing into school the arguments and disagreements that took place online while outside of school. Students are also talking about and repeating things in school that they are seeing and hearing while online or using social media, especially YouTube, TikTok, and chat within games. Some of these things students are saying and repeating are inappropriate for school and oftentimes the students themselves don’t fully understand what they are saying.
Every family has the right to choose how much access to technology devices, online services, and social media apps their child has while outside of school. There are certainly lots of benefits for kids to be able to communicate with family and friends online, as well as to access information and entertainment. However, a number of families have expressed to us that they were not aware of exactly what each online service, game, or social media app allowed their child to do or how much it allowed them to communicate with other people. There are so many online services, games, and social media apps that it can be extremely difficult for families to keep on top of everything. Most social media apps require their users to be at least 13 years old, but they don’t often make this clear to parents and the requirements are easy to bypass. Also, parental controls built into devices, games, and social media apps can be difficult to navigate and ineffective.
Here are some resources from Common Sense Media and Common Sense Education that may be helpful to families when investigating and deciding what devices, social media apps, and games their children should have access to:
Parents' Ultimate Guides to TikTok, Snapchat, Roblox, Fortnite, etc.
“Social Media Basics for Parents”
What is social media, and why are my kids constantly on it? What do I need to be aware of to keep them safe, especially when adults aren't around? Join Common Sense to learn the basics of social media -- we'll cover the key differences between Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, and why kids love them. You'll leave with tips and strategies for staying on top of the latest trends, because you can't be there all the time.
“How Parents Can Address Social Media Challenges”
Young people want to be a part of something, whether good or bad. How can we support our kids to think about the implications of their actions amid all the viral social media "challenges" that have been appearing recently? Join us for tips and strategies on talking to your kid about the latest social media challenge – both the viral and everyday kinds.
Grades K–2 Family Conversations
“Family Tech Planner for Children Ages 2-8”
Grades 3–5 Family Conversations
“Family Tech Planner for Children Ages 9-12”
“Digital Citizenship Resources for Family Engagement”
We hope that these resources provide a good starting point for any families that have questions about online services, games, and social media apps.