By: Bailey Duran

As we’ve covered in previous blog posts, technology is everywhere, and children are gaining access to online materials at an earlier and earlier age – even at school! Even if a child does not have their own smartphone or iPad at home, they will more than likely have access to a school computer or tablet to complete assignments or other classwork on.
Schools should take a proactive approach to teach teachers and parents about technology and what is available to children on these devices, whether they are school-issued devices or devices the child personally has access to.
By educating teachers and parents, schools are ensuring a safer environment for children while they are at school and even at home.
First, this approach helps protect children from cyberbullying and online harassment. While it may be sneakier than the old bullying tropes such as stealing lunch money or taunting a child on the playground, these online bullying tactics are just as traumatic, if not more so. These types of abuse can have devastating effects on a child's self-esteem and mental health, leading to acting out, self-harm, or worse. By educating parents and teachers on the dangers of cyberbullying and how to protect children online, schools can help to prevent these types of incidents and ensure that children feel safe and secure while they are online.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to educate parents and educators on technology is to help keep children safe from online predators.
Children are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by people who use the internet solely to find targets they can groom and manipulate. Oftentimes, predators will pose as children or individuals who seem like a friend, but it is a tried-and-true tactic of human trafficking and other means of exploitation.
By teaching parents and teachers how to recognize the signs of online predators – a child talking about an online “friend,” putting the phone away quickly when you’re near, a change in behavior, self-harm, withdrawal from parents or friends, etc. – schools can play an important role in preventing these types of terrifying circumstances from happening to their children.
Schools also have the opportunity to teach children to be digitally responsible. By teaching children about the importance of being safe and responsible online, schools can help to create a generation of citizens who are mindful of their actions and understand the impact that their online behavior can have. By teaching parents and teachers about these issues, schools can ensure that children are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.
Schools have a vital role to play in protecting children online, and our Parent ProTech resources help take the guesswork out of learning how to protect children online. And Parent ProTech isn’t just for parents! We offer courses that schools can utilize to act as a resource for teachers, administrators and parents. Sign up today to learn how to protect children online!

Should Schools Teach Teachers and Parents to be Technologically Literate?

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