Children are in a crisis situation due to the influence of unlimited, unfiltered and unmonitored internet usage.
School administrators are pressured by parents to “do more” to keep kids safe online. They want to teach more digital citizenship at school. At the same time, schools are seeing the repercussions of hundreds or thousands of students using technology without limits or safeguards.
It’s showing up in:
- Lack of empathy,
- Hate speech
- Violence and threats of violence at your school
- Secret disappearing messages,
- Explicit content
- Drug use
- Anxiety and depression,
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Even completed suicides.
Let’s start with why online safety matters. Our Children.
Children around the nation want adults to protect them and keep them safe in ways they’re not seeing currently.
They’re talking about:
- Cyberbullying and what schools are doing well/need to do better
- Cyberbullying and how it can lead to students using alcohol and other drugs, hurting themselves, killing themselves or others
- Data privacy and security
- Teens bringing cell phones to school and how they’re changing school culture
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation when “everyone” is on their screens
- Feeling bad about the number of hours they are on screens
More than 90% of teens have smart phones now and they’re on screens about 6.5 hours per day, NOT including homework. And let’s contrast that with the training in Digital Citizenship at school: on average it’s just 1-3 hours a year.
Digital citizenship at school covers important training in topics like:
- Locking down privacy and security settings,
- Preventing cyberbullying and hate speech,
- News literacy–for example, knowing which news sources are factual,
- Keeping your digital footprint small,
- Managing your digital repuation, and
- Balancing online and offline time.
Do you see the problem?
Kids are getting tiny hand-held computers (smart phones and tablets) that parents give them and pay for and they are using them 6+ hours a day but they have little training in how to use them. Schools are stretching to get 1-3 hours of Digital Citizenship topics into the classroom. Parents are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of parenting, let alone the online world of trying to get kids off screens and figuring out which apps are safe and what they can do to set limits, get inappropriate content filtered and “see” what their kids are doing online.
We’re letting children wander around the internet to meet the other 4 BILLION people who are online and these kids have no filtering, little training, minimal supervision and NO monitoring. That’s crazy, right? Some might even look back in history and call it child abuse.
Fired up and ready to be a part of the solution?
If you’re ready to be a part of the solution, we offer free Strategy Sessions for parents and schools. These are 30 minute private calls to set up a plan to involve schools and parents in making children and teens safer online.
Are you in? Choose your button and set up a time to get started.
Parents: Book a strategy call
Schools: Book a Strategy Session
Work with the Center for Online Safety
Almost every school district needs help and support teaching parents how to protect their children from online dangers. Our parent presentations remain the most popular way schools start expanding cyber safety. Many schools want expert guidance on choosing a Digital Citizenship program and training teachers. Some also see the value in hiring experts to deliver Digital Citizenship lessons or streamline their systems and processes.
Here are some of the ways we work with parents and school districts. We:
- lead cyber safety workshops for parents, educators and students
- lead online classes for parents and children
- offer free Cyber Safety Strategy Sessions for parents and schools
- audit cyber safety in schools
- assess online family safety in homes
- facilitate Q&A session and documentaries about cyber safety
- offer guidance to schools on Digital Citizenship–which curriculum, additional activities, integrating it into K-12
The Center for Online Safety’s mission is to improve online safety and eliminate digital trauma so that children are healthy mentally, physically and emotionally.
We work with school leaders and parent groups who are committed to students’ overall health and who see that cyber safety is the key.
It’s time to realize that unlimited, unfiltered, unmonitored screen access is hurting our children. We are essentially experimenting with a whole generation of young people and that’s not okay.