Tips for monitoring kids' online usage while doing virtual schooling

Posted at 5:38 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 17:38:46-04

Hundreds of thousands of students will start the school year with online learning, and that means most of these students will be online for hours every day. That can expose students of all ages to threats in the virtual world.

Nick and Diana Peraino are parents of two – Owen is 9 and his little sister, Cora, is 7. Diana remembers the quick transition to online learning this past spring.

"I can not say in the spring it was the best situation," Diana said.

Now, summer i sending and the family is getting ready for a virtual return to school.

Diana knows cyber education increases a whole range of cyber threats. From stranger dangers to cyberbullying, she said she's seen the clique-like behavior in preschool, and that behavior can migrate online.

"We prevent kids from communicating with each other, unless there's a supervised adult," Shanna Shepherd from Lighthouse Connections Academy said.

Shepherd is a guidance counselor at the school in Troy – a full-time, tuition-free online public charter school.

She said the main issues facing children studying online are bullying, inappropriate behavior and stranger danger contact. She said parents should stay in touch with teachers and do daily debrief with kids after online activity.

"So it's OK, you know, after school, to say, 'hey, how'd it go? You know what? We want to talk about who you talk with,' and just always keep that line of communication up," Shanna added.

Parents should also make sure all devices have the latest software and apps are up to date.

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