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CLICKS: A parent's webinar for keeping children safe online
Hosted on March 21, 2023, this webinar presented useful tips for keeping children safe while using the internet. FCS media specialists and district leaders shared information on how students are taught responsible digital citizenship while a GBI special agent gave a broader picture of internet safety and ways parents can safeguard their children.
A special THANK YOU to our panelists:
- Dr. Emily Bell, Chief Information Officer for Fulton County Schools
- Heather Van Looy, Director of Instructional Technology for Fulton County Schools
- Tina Criss, Media & Educational Technology Instructor at Banneker High School
- Special Agent Jackie Gittins, Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Fulton County Schools is keeping students safe in an increasingly digital world
Keeping students safe, whether in a school classroom or a virtual learning environment at home, is always a top priority. With laptops and tablets (collectively called “devices”) issued to students in grades 3-12, Fulton County Schools has special protections in place to keep students safe while learning in the digital world.
Content filtering software blocks inappropriate sites while at school and when using FCS devices at home. Most social media and chat platforms also are blocked on FCS devices, except in special cases where there is educational value. For example, access to YouTube is allowed, but in Restricted Mode. This prevents students from reaching objectionable content. FCS also issues T- Mobile hotspots to students when requested, and the hotspots’ content filtering software adds another layer of protection. T-Mobile hotspots should be used with FCS-issued devices.
Formerly called media specialists, each school’s Media and Educational Technology Instructor – or METI – also provides guidance to students on responsible technology and appropriate device use. Fulton County Schools has partnered with Common Sense Media to teach its Digital Citizenship Program, which prepares students to make smart choices online.
In addition, Fulton County Schools is one of only 50 school districts nationwide to earn the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) seal from the Consortium for School Networking for its leadership in student privacy protection and data security.
Download this information as a printable document
What Can Parents Do?
TAP into Internet & Device Safety!
TAP stands for Time, Access and Password
TIME. Parents can restrict the amount of time their children use the internet on the devices in their home. This includes personally owned computers, tablets and cell phones and FCS-issued devices like laptops and tablets – anything that can connect to the home internet.
ACCESS. Parents can enable parental controls so that access to inappropriate websites can be filtered and blocked. FCS-issued devices already do this, even if using a home network, but personally owned devices are still vulnerable.
PASSWORD PROTECTION. Parents can help their children choose passwords that meet complexity requirements. They also should help their child understand not to share the passwords.
Parents also can:
Check with your internet provider or the manufacturer of your network router. As examples, these providers/manufacturers* have sites for setting up parental controls:
• AT&T • Xfinity • D-Link • Linksys • Netgear • TP-Link
Consider subscribing to/purchasing a monitoring app or program. There are services and products that allow ways to monitor and restrict devices and internet use at home, like BARK* or Firewalla.*
*Note: These products/services are not free and are not endorsed by Fulton County Schools. They are provided only as examples of services some parents already use.
Just as there is an abundance of harmful content online, there also are many trustworthy resources devoted to keeping children safe.
Below are examples of information and tips specifically for parents from some of the nation’s leading safety agencies and organizations.
Common Sense Media
U.S. Department of Justice
- Parent and Educator Resources
- Chatting w/Kids About Being Online
- Parent and Educators Tip Card
- Social Media Tips for Parents
- Think.Connect. Presentation
Federal Trade Commission
Sarasota Co. (FL) Sheriff’s Office