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Staying Safe Online

Wednesday, February 4, 2015​​

As part of Red Ribbon Week, we had some short lessons about staying safe online during each grade level's lunchtime today.

At Willow Creek Elementary, we do our best to keep kids safe — and one of the big advantages we have is that we can control access to the Internet through user accounts and a strong web filter. On top of that, students never have unsupervised access to the World Wide Web; adults are always in the same room keeping an eye on what's happening. And when technology is introduced into the classroom, teachers explain how to use it responsibly.

But what can you do at home? You probably don't have an IT department at your beck and call! Here are a few suggestions from Mrs. Domino, one of our Technology Technicians.

Be Present​

Keep all kinds of technology in family spaces, not in your child's bedroom. It will be much easier to monitor what's going on and how much "screen time" your child is getting.

Set Up Kid Accounts and Use Parental Controls

Whatever kind of computer you use, think about setting up a separate user account for each of your kids. First, it keeps them out of your account — which means your information is safe and secure. Second, once you have created a child's account, you can use Parental Controls to restrict your child's access to dangerous websites or chat rooms. If you need help to set up these controls, here are some resources that will get you started:

Privacy and Internet Safety:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety

For a Mac computer running:

Leopard, Snow Leopard: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201813 

Mountain Lion: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH11468?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US 

Mavericks: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14411?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US 

Yosemite: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18571?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

El Capitan: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21683?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Sierra: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25799?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

For Windows 8 machines:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/family-safety

Make It Easy to Be in a Good Place​​​: Use Bookmarks

Help your child find appropriate websites. There's a wealth of wonderful information on the Internet, but it's too easy for a young child to misspell a word and end up looking at an inappropriate site. Sit down with your child and bookmark websites that they will enjoy. Today we watched some animal videos from the San Diego Zoo (http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/), and some classes saw a children's interactive tour of New York City's Museum of Modern Art (http://www.moma.org/interactives/destination/).​

photo of panda at San Diego Zoo
 

Bookmarking websites is a wonderful gift to your children — they will be able to explore appropriate sites without needing you by their side to type in the web address. While you are bookmarking, add in Willow Creek's online resources, such as BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. We pay for home access to many of the websites we use at school; just stop by the library to pick up the Online Resources brochure with the user names and passwords needed for access. Your teacher may use particular web resources, too; look on the teacher's website or Schoology website for more information.

Stay Informed​

Finally, keep current with what's great for kids and what's not by going to Common Sense Media's website. Cherry Creek has partnered with this organization to use their great digital citizenship lessons and technology integration resources. A large part of their website is written for parents and offers reviews and ratings of all forms of media. Check it out today!

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ ​​​

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Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.