Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Cyber Safety

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Cyber safety is a big concern for parents. At school we use Watchdog to filter our ultra-fast broadband. This blocks inappropriate sites and social media from digital devices children use at school.  No system is 100% effective so we talk to the children about what to do in the unlikely event that something inappropriate might appear on screen.

Computers at school should only be used:
  • ·         For teaching and learning in the classroom.
  • ·         On-line if there is a teacher supervising. Some approved sites such as Mathletics may be used independently.

Children are not allowed to:
  • ·         Upload material or programmes from home. Any school work should be emailed to the teacher.
  • ·         Give anyone on the Internet information about themselves or anyone else’s ID.  This includes address, phone number or named photograph.

In the news this week the issue of cyber bullying has again been raised. Occasionally I am informed by a child or a parent that hurtful comments have been made on Facebook or other social media. Please remember that it is illegal to have a Facebook account if you are under 13. Sometimes I have had to ring parents who have been surprised to find that their child has an account. Sometimes parents know they have an account but they are completely unaware what is being posted on Facebook. While no one can access Facebook at Papakowhai School I will follow up children who are using it maliciously at home if it is brought to my attention.

Digital tools for learning are wonderful and when healthy boundaries are put in place they certainly augment and enhance the learning experience of our children. Before the end of term I encourage you to read the internet safety agreement that has been sent home today and talk about cyber safety at school and at home with your child. Please return the signed form to the Office before the end of term. If you have questions or concerns please email me or make a time to talk.

Kind regards
Mark Smith

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