Online safety tips

Here are some tips and links to help you establish safe practices when students are using online tools at home.

7 tips for parents

  1. Understand: Read about the potential online risks, challenges and sometimes illegal behaviour young people face to understand what may happen
  2. Learn: Ask your child about what they do, how they use devices and who they talk to learn about their activities. Check in regularly to see what has changed
  3. Explore: Take the time yourself to explore the sites, apps and technologies your child uses to improve your knowledge and understand their experience
  4. Agree: Create a family code with your child to agree on what they can do online including sites to visit, appropriate behaviours, privacy settings and limits
  5. Start: Recognise each child has unique needs, but some online safety concepts are universal. Start by teaching yours the Five tips to help your child thrive
  6. Model: Be a good example to your child. Make sure you role model the sort of behaviours you want to see your child use online and offline
  7. Plan: Make a plan so everybody knows what to do if something goes wrong and where you will be able to get advice and support in challenging times

Enable safe searching for younger students

Safe search can be enabled in Google Search and also in Youtube. We also suggest you get younger students using Youtube Kids if on tablets such as iPads.

Great sites for cyber safety

  1. NetSafe - this is NZs internet safety organisation who have resources for parents, including descriptions of common tools young people are using and the parenting considerations for each.
  2. John Parsons - one of NZs top internet safety consultants. He has a facebook page, and a great book for parents called Keeping Your Children Safe Online.
  3. Common Sense Media - rates and reviews movies, games, books, music and more, providing parents with a background and summary to help them make the best choices for the family.
  4. ConnectSafely - has a range of useful parent guides on all sorts of online tools, apps and games.
  5. Be Internet Awesome - Google's programme for students to learn cyber safety, including a downloadable family guide. Well worth a look.

Learning remotely through video conferencing

If students are working through a device or a computer at home then parents or caregivers are responsible for their usage. Teachers are modifying their programmes and will offer work students can complete independently or semi-independently. One facility we have available is online video meetings.

Parents should be aware that in the situation where students and staff are using video conferencing facilities (such as Google Hangouts or Zoom), that this could potentially provide a 'window into your home'. For staff that may be working from home, this could also mean the same.

Follow these suggestions for protecting everyone:

    1. Ensure the device to be used for learning at home is in an area in the home that is public (ie not a bedroom), and that others in the house know the device is to be used for learning at home, including via video conferencing.
    2. Ensure everyone in the home knows when the device is to be used for learning at home, and what types of usage this might entail.
    3. Ensure others in the home know that they may be seen if they walk behind your son/daughter while they are in a video conference. Make sure they know that they should not wear their pyjamas or worse!
    4. Teachers will take time to help your son/daughter familiarise themselves with the environment so they know this also.

Please note that if your son/daughter is using a device and a staff member sees something inappropriate, they may be obligated to report this as a legal requirement of educators.

Other systems the school uses such as Hāpara

Our school uses a system called Hāpara which helps teachers to support the learning process of students. It enables them to do this in a range of ways:

    • sending documents and work out for students, or groups of students
    • focusing the browsing of school-owned Chromebooks by restricting what students can see, as well as being able to view what students are doing live on their Chromebook.
    • sending out assignments and giving students feedback
    • keeping an eye on email usage of students

Given that school-owned Chromebooks are possibly going to be used at home, this raises a few issues that parents need to be aware of. The feature in Hāpara allows teachers to view what is happening on a school-owned Chromebook as it is happening (between 9am-3pm) it is important that these Chromebooks are ONLY USED FOR LEARNING-RELATED TASKS. For instance, as a parent we would discourage you from doing internet banking on your child's Chromebook because we wouldn't want teachers to be able to accidentally see what you are doing!

This is a trust-based system and part of your agreement to use these devices means you agree not to use them for non-learning related tasks.

If you have any questions, please let us know so we can provide guidance.