ARE THEY OLD ENOUGH?

DATE

25 March, 2022

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Access to technology and information has never been easier than it is now. The ease of checking your email and social media on your mobile device and laptop means that we can access this information on the go easily. However, for parents and guardians this can cause numerous important milestones to navigate with their children. As parents we need to decide what is the correct age?

Other questions include:
·         When do you let children access technology for the first time?
·         What do you let them access at the different age groups?
·         When is your child old enough for their first mobile device?
·         When are they able to play games online with people they don’t know?
·         When are they ready for their first social media platform?

With so many opportunities, we need to think about how we help children navigate these key milestones and develop skills that will help them with the wide world of technology.

Children often have access to connected devices like tablets and smartphones from a very young age. They might enjoy watching a favourite program through streaming services, using educational apps or simply viewing photos with your family and friends.

It is important you set some rules, manage access, and stay involved. There is no reason why your young child should not enjoy the benefits of being online and this will help them establish good habits. Self-regulation is an important value to learn to help children when they become older to know when enough it enough with technology.

There are some great resources around online safety basics and managing time online to help create balance.

Social media has been the largest cause of issues for and between students that I have seen across my years as a teacher and technologist in schools. Generally, issues are due to students accessing these technologies before they are ready for them. Most social media apps require the child to be at least 13 years old, however many students access these much younger before they are mature enough or mentally ready.

The eSafety Guide provided by the Australian government includes clear information about the different benefits and risks associated with how social media is used. Parents and guardians need to be aware and discuss these apps with their child and the website is a great place to educate yourself on the risks of these apps.

It is important once children start using social media to help them understand how to use it appropriately.

·         only ‘friend’ people you know.
·         look at your security and privacy settings.
·         learn how to report any trouble.
·         kept your post strong and proud.

Based on the image above, when presenting to students, I work through those points to help them understand social media and what to do before they post.

With so many important milestones to navigate it can seem overwhelming, help is available at:
Parents | eSafety Commissioner
Home Page SchoolTV | Scotch Oakburn College

Please continue to have lots of conversations and educate yourself and your child around this ever changing technology.

Mr Brendan Vince
Head of eServices

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