2019 Research on Kids, Phones, and Media

Common Sense Media recently released findings from their 2019 census that surveyed parents and children about their media use. A representative sample of more than 1600 tweens and teens provides information on how much time kids are engaging with media and what activities they are engaged in.

Not surprisingly, a couple of key findings reveal that kids are getting their own phones at younger ages and that everyone is spending more time watching online videos.

What should a parent do?

“Though kids’ activities have changed a lot and the ground keeps shifting under our feet, what kids need from their parents remains the same. Being involved and engaged is the key to helping kids learn to use smart judgment, make informed choices, and develop a sense of responsibility in the online (and offline) world.”

Click here to read a summary of the findings.

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2019/12/01/2019-research/

Maintaining Focus

From a parent of a middle school student:

My son is struggling with balancing homework with fun time on his technology. I’ve tried a number of strategies, but he is constantly distracted with digital wanderings when trying to work. I’m concerned that these habits will contribute to a lack of focus as he grows up. HELP!

In an age of constant dings, beeps, badges, and pop-ups, it’s easy to lose focus and wander down a rabbit hole of distraction. How can we help our children develop healthy habits and maintain focus amidst distractions?

Common Sense Media offers these six tips for helping kids stay focused during homework time.

And Devorah Heitner offers some additional suggestions in her book, Screenwise, Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World.

  • Avoid double screening. If doing homework on a tablet, for instance, silence and put away the phone.
  • If possible, work on homework in a common area in the house, such as at the dining room table.
  • If some of the homework assignment can be done offline, complete that portion first, before connecting.
  • Model your own struggles with distraction and share strategies you use for maintain focus at work and at home.

Finally, on student iPads and other Apple devices, enabling the Screen Time tool in Settings can provide some interesting data for both parents and children in discussions around technology use and time management. Click here to learn more about the Screen Time tool.

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2019/10/22/maintaining-focus/

7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) provides a toolkit for families that describes seven steps on the journey of parenting in a digital age.

Watch the videos or download the toolkit here, and start with Step One: Talk with your kids about their online activities.

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2019/10/21/7-steps-to-good-digital-parenting/

Schoology Tips for Parents

Schoology is the district’s Learning Management System, a tool for teachers and students to organize, deliver, access, and interact with learning materials. Parents who have a portal account in Infinite Campus automatically have a parent Schoology account as well.

Just getting started? Go to schoology.com to login, enter the email address used for your Campus Portal account, and click Forgot your password. An email will be sent from Schoology with instructions for resetting your password.

Want to learn more about navigating within Schoology? Explore these guides:

It is important to note that not every school, or every teacher, uses Schoology in the same way.
Please check with your building about their method of communicating homework and assignments.

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2019/09/16/schoology-tips-for-parents/

Disabling Private Browsing on Student iPads

While web content is filtered on student iPads when connected to the district network, private browsing is not disabled by default. When private browsing is enabled, web history is not saved. Parents may wish to use the Screen Time tool in Settings to set limits or to monitor web browsing.

Click here for step-by-step directions.

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2019/09/15/disabling-private-browsing-on-student-ipads/