EdTech & Parenting Part 4: The Enforcer of Technology Rules
Want to read more? Check out the rest of the series:
The Enforcer of Rules
My goal is to understand and work with the public rules that govern how technology influences our family and our home. My indicators are: 1) Be familiar with laws around technology use and understand my rights as a parent and as a user of technology; 2) Engage in conversations with teachers and other parents about the Acceptable Use Policies at my child’s school; 3) Be “Big Brother Sister” to my child when she is using technology.
Be familiar with laws around technology use and understand my rights as a parent and as a user of technology.
This is not legal advice. It is simply a discussion about rules I think about when making decisions about digital tools. From the FTC, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) protects the privacy of, and governs websites or online services directed to, children under the age of 13. The FTC has resources for parents on their website that are worth checking out.
Working in EdTech at the elementary and middle school level, social media is always a topic of discussion with parents. Some of the common questions we receive are:
- What are the age requirements for social media sites? COPPA rules protect children under the age of 13 years old, and almost all social media sites require users to be over age 13 years old. When creating an account, these sites will require users to acknowledge this rule. If parents find out that their under-13 children are using the site, these sites are required to have platforms where parents can report the underage account and have it closed out.
- Why is everyone in my child’s elementary school using social media? They aren’t. And if they are under 13 years old, they shouldn’t have their own accounts without parent permission. You determine what is appropriate for your child.
- I’ve never used social media. How does it work? Read my second post in this series: EdTech & Parenting Part 2: The Curator. As parents, it’s important to ensure that your child’s digital experience is safe, appropriate, and educational. I highly recommend that you take an hour to read about and/or try social media before you let your child use it. The Curator post has lots of great resources and suggestions for how to research these topics.
- I want my child to learn how to use social media responsibly. How can I do that? Keep reading this post! You can also read the third post in this series: EdTech & Parenting Part 3: The Digital Citizen for suggestions.
Engage in conversations with teachers and other parents about the Acceptable Use Policies and technology rules at school.
Be “Big Brother Sister” to my child when she is using technology.
You’ve heard it plenty of times already in this series: Passwords are for parents! You control what technology your child can access, and what level of exposure is allowed.
|M’s Board on our family Pinterest account|
I actually love the positive uses of social media, and I find ways to share them with my daughter. Together, we keep in touch with friends, access windows into other parts of the world, and share pieces of our family life. Of course, my 5 year old daughter does not have her own accounts. Instead, I manage social media for our family. We have family Facebook and Instagram accounts, and M & I love to share photos and follow family & friends. I have a Twitter account (@MagistraReardon) primarily for work, which she finds extraordinarily boring. And M has her own board on my Pinterest account (MyPinterest), so we can pin new ideas for her playspace together. These activities help M experience positive uses of social media, while under my control and supervision.
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