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  • Dr. Stephanie Goble, Your Technology Coach

Keeping Your Kids Safe when they Study Online - Part 1

How do you help keep your kids safe when they are studying in an online classroom?

It’s almost here! It’s almost “Go Time” for your kids going back to school… and this year is the first time school is starting back for many school campuses in an online format.

Let’s look at some practical, simple tips that you can easily use to help your kids safe:

1. Remember, the camera on their computer will show their class everything it sees. Make sure kids (and others who may walk through its line of sight) are fully dressed and ready to be seen!

The camera on their computer reveals everything in its line of sight: messy room, half dressed kids (or even half-dressed parents walking through!)

With some classes spending many hours of classroom day online, it can be easy to forget this, and walk into the camera’s line of sight — and in an unexpected moment, you may find yourself unexpectedly on camera!

2. Check the camera range before your child goes online. Take time now to remove confidential or sensitive items from its view.

It’s a good idea to activate the camera on your kids computer and see what it will show BEFORE your kids log into school on that first day. Look for the extent of the camera’s vision - and see if there is anything that you would want to first move to another location.

Maybe the pile of laundry to be folded should be moved?

Also, and more importantly, look to see if there is any personal or confidential information that would be in the camera’s line of sight. For example, is there anything on a poster board that may be set up behind your child or in their room that you wouldn’t want the whole class to see?

3. Tell your child that if they feel uncomfortable at any time with the video, to turn off their camera and come find you.

There has been a lot of talk recently about people ‘hacking’ into online conversations. Several online platforms have increased security to help prevent this, with many adding password requirements to access the online classroom.

It is good to talk to your child about this possible risk, and let them know that they can turn off their camera if they get uncomfortable for any reason. You can reach out to their teacher and talk about what’s happening, and how to best keep your kids protected.

In any live, online video feed - the old adage, "better safe than sorry” applies. Teach your kids to prioritize safety, and to keep you informed if they feel unsafe.

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