Tips for engaging parents in digital safety
Often parents feel overwhelmed by the many issues children face when using the internet, with 50% feeling that their children know more about technology than them. A traditional approach to educating parents is to use the ‘worst case scenario’ model which highlights the most extreme threats to children. This approach often causes parents to severely restrict the internet access of children or disengage with the process entirely.
In school, a measured approach is taken with some level of web-filtering being applied, as well as the education of the user being seen as the most useful way to help children keep themselves safe. This approach is likely to engage parents too, who will then feel more empowered and informed to educate their child. Below are some useful ways to engage parents in taking an active approach to digital safety.
- Get the students involved: when primary aged pupils have learned about digital safety they could go home wearing badges that say ‘Ask Me About…’ and insert a digital safety topic that they can take home. Pupils could also write their own digital safety newsletters for parents.
- Invite parents in to school and host pupil led assemblies or showcase work on iPads as a way to get parents to learn about current digital safety messages from their child’s perspective.
- Run a Technologies day where pupils show parents how they are using iPads in their learning. Offer tips and tricks for how parents can use iPads to support their children with homework and weave in digital safety messages.
- Include a digital safety focus as part of a 1:1 iPad launch. A 1:1 launch is a good opportunity to educate parents on the issues that are relevant to their child, their attention could be drawn to online resources and quick tips for helping keep their child safer online.
Please feel free to use and adapt the digital safety presentation for parents, which has been used at a number of curriculum evenings in Edinburgh schools.