If you’re reading this and it is still 2020 or early 2021 for that matter, your kid is one of the billions around the world who have to be using virtual platforms (LMS) to learn instead of the traditional classroom. While the global gravitation towards virtual learning options continues to trend upwards, LMSs and education experts are working round the clock to ensure that learners’ ever-growing needs are met in a safe and efficient manner. But navigating the online environment can be difficult as the journey is fraught with social, psychological and technical challenges. It’s a sort of Darwin environment- only the fittest of the fittest will survive. Unfortunately, some kids will sink while others will manage to stay afloat as the world treads these relatively uncharted waters together. Are you determined to ensure that your kids are among the ones who swim rather than sink? Get ready to become a pro at ensuring that your kids’ online interactions are safe and appropriate.
Keep Up With the Techies
There’s no way around it. Parenting in a world where LMSs have replaced brick and mortar schools requires that we put keeping up with the Joneses on the back burner and focus instead on keeping up with the techies… at least to some extent. You don’t need to get very technical but you will need to develop your skills beyond posting and reading posts on social media. You’ll need to figure out how your child’s actions online can open the door for hackers and malicious software and how you can prevent this. You’ll also need to know the safety dos and don’ts when it comes to online interactions. And guess what? Even if you aren’t naturally tech prone, the skills you learn while trying to keep your kids safe online may also help you as you engage friends, family members and coworkers online.
Now is not the time to try to be an island. Join networks with like-minded parents and guardians so you can learn a few more tips and tricks. Since the kids attending your child’s school will be using the same LMS it is a good idea to network with your local PTA. But chances are, popular parenting forums will have parents whose kids are using the same LMS. As you engage in these communities you’ll get some solid heads up that’ll help you to avoid mistakes made by others.
Help can also come in the form of additional security features and software on the devices used by the family. Thankfully a wide range of child protection and monitoring software exist and you can weigh the pros and cons of each before investing. Don’t forget to update safety software as this will keep your protection current and effective.
Keep Close Tabs on Your Child’s Online Activities
Kids need supervision while they learn online. After all, you monitor your kids when they engage in social and learning activities physically, so why wouldn’t you do the same online? Do not fall into the trap of thinking, ‘Oh the LMS must-have safety features built-in’ or ‘the school must have safety protocols in place’.
Trust Your Intuition
Above all trust your Instincts. If something seems off, it probably is so follow up on those gut feelings that tell you that something is off with your kid. . If your child starts behaving suspiciously every time you are near the computer or tablet’s screen something’s probably up. If your child has started to sacrifice meal times and favourite activities in favour of going online you may be witnessing a red flag unfolding right before your eyes.