Resources for Parents

Soaring With Tech, an Animoto Video

Teenagers Having Devices with
Internet Connections

Many junior high students feel they are ready for the responsibility of having their own personal computer, but parents may have some reservations. Having a personal laptop is a bit trickier for parents than the family desktop computer that might live in a public space of your home. Laptops can be damaged more easily because of their portability, which also makes them easy targets for theft. Losing and forgetting cords is common, charging them daily becomes a priority, and of course the ease of using the laptop in private spaces increases.

Here are some suggestions, and links to some wonderful resources that should be read and considered before determining if your child is ready to receive a laptop and to bring it to school daily.

Before your purchase, have in place a list of

general rules governing the use of the
home computer,
their possible new laptop, and any

smart phones they may use.

Post it clearly on your refrigerator
so no mistakes can be made

about the rules.

A few ideas to get you started:

  • Understand COPPA: the Children’s Online Pivacy Protection Act.

“The primary goal of COPPA and the Rule is to place parents in control over what information is collected from

their young children online. The Rule was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.

  • Are social networking sites approved in your home? What is the minimum age required to sign up for Facebook? In order to be eligible to sign up for Facebook, people must be thirteen (13) years of age or older.
  • Require that they ask a parent before they join any site that requires a login, screen name, or password.

Have the “TALK”.

Talk your kids about appropriate use of the Internet, internet manners, p2p file sharing, social networks, text, sexting, cyberbullying, etc. The resource Net Cetera from OnGuard OnLine is a great guide. It includes all you need to know in a clear friendly format.

  • How late can your child text, chat, or Facebook in the evenings? When does screentime end?
  • Where are they allowed to use the laptop? Are devices that use the internet allowed their bedroom? Will you have an “open door only” policy? Public spaces such as the kitchen for homework and gaming might be considered.
  • Will you Install parental control products such as free Open DNS. Or purchase a tool like Net Nanny, or Cyber Patrol. Your family’s personal privacy and the privacy of your child an be further protected with these tools.
  • Understand that media players and music player accounts have internet access and consider blocking explicit lyrics for purchasing.
  • Come up with a white list of approved persons that can be texted, Skyped, Instant Messaged, or added as acceptable contacts, until responsible communications from your child are observed. It is best to start small and grow the list as your child matures.
  • Determine if online games are age appropriate, and set time limits.

For more information about specific MEVSD policies.

Milford School District Technology Page

For more information about responsible computing and kids please try these resources.

PBS Frontline "Growing Up Online"

Childnet International

Teenagers having Devices by Milford Exempted Village School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Milford Junior High School Technology Central.

Milford, OH 45150

Apr 10, 2012, 11:03 AM
Apr 10, 2012, 11:05 AM