BYOD & Internet Safety

#See page bottom for our TECH Tips

N4L - our school internet provider

N4L (Network for Learning) is a government managed network, providing digital content (the Internet) to help teachers and students navigate the complexities of learning in the 21st century. This provides fast and free internet access to the school.

The school is subject to N4L filtering and other protocols.

To further enable secure connections and filtering we highly recommend that Waihopai School's filtering certificate be installed on your child's BYOD device. This certificate is installed on all school owned computers and devices to ensure maximum security and filtering.

BYOD Waihopai School Filtering Certificate.

Click image to download and install on your child's device.


Top tech tip #15

In light of recent events on social media it is important that you are aware of age restrictions on sites.

Facebook and photo-sharing site Instagram both require users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account, and in some jurisdictions, this age limit may be higher.

Twitter, the site where users post messages and tweets in 140 characters, says you must be at least "13-years-old to use its services".

At first Snapchat, which allows people to post videos and photos for 10 seconds before they disappear, restricted anyone under the age of 13 from using their site. It then introduced a limited version of the app for under 13s - called SnapKidz - which allows photos and drawing but not sending messages. Users aged under 13 are redirected to Snapkidz.

The minimum age for the mobile phone messaging app WhatsApp is 16-years-old.

YouTube requires account holders to be aged 18 and over, and also restricts much of its content to over 18s, but it will also allow a 13-year-old to sign up with their parent's permission.

Tik Tok recommends the app for age 15+ mainly due to the privacy issues and mature content. TikTok requires that users be at least 13 years old to use the full TikTok experience, although there is a way for younger kids to access the app. Anyone under the age of 18 must have approval of a parent or guardian.

Top tech tip #14

It’s no good setting limits on your kids’ screen time if you spend all day with your eyes glued to your laptop or firing off hundreds of texts from your iPhone. Similarly, don’t ban devices from the dinner table if you reach for your smartphone every time it buzzes. Children take their lead from their parents’ behaviour and interacting with technology is no different. It's great to have no device (including phones) time, especially when you are eating as a family. It is amazing the conversation you can have. A great conversation starter can be what made you think today? Or what made you laugh?

Top tech tip # 13

Don't believe everything you read on the internet

This is true for both us as adults and children learning to navigate the web. In this time of uncertainty, it has been shown that some information is just not true but written as if it is. It can create anxiety and mis-trust. We as adults need to guide our children to work out what is the truth and what is made up. Talk about where you like to get your information from. The difference between fact and opinions. Remember sometimes even adults can be misled by fake news so imagine how hard it is for children.

Top tech tip #12

Treat media as you would any other environment in your child's life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children's friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.

Top tech tip #11

Be a role model

Our own digital habits, like being constantly distracted by our own devices, are noticed by children. It can be easier said than done, but being more mindful of having a balanced approach to using technology ourselves is crucial. Monkey see, monkey do.

Top tech tip #10

Be aware of age restrictions

Many popular sites (YouTube, Instagram, etc.) have age restrictions, and these are in place for a reason: to keep young people safe.

Don’t allow your child to sign up for sites if they’re underage or not ready.

When they are old enough to register, make sure your child sets their online accounts to private to limit access to people they know well.

Net safe has some excellent tips about determining whether your child is ready for social media check out this link

Top tech tip # 9

Strive for balance in your household

Encourage your child to balance their screen time and green time, and encourage offline interests

There are many guidelines floating around but perhaps there isn’t really an arbitrary answer when parents or educators ask, “How much time should children spend on screens?”

Perhaps it depends on what the child is actually doing. Creating and purposefully connecting online is clearly more beneficial than long stretches of passive viewing.

Additionally, using technology collaboratively at suitable times is clearly better than using inappropriate apps or sites alone late at night or when other tasks (or sleep!) are a priority.

So a shift in conversation to quality over quantity may be helpful

Top tech tip # 8

Help your child to think critically when they’re online.

Remind your child that not everything you read or see on the web is true, and not everyone online tells the truth.

More than ever, internet users are required to wade through a lot of noise, distractions, and opinions that flow freely online. Children need guidance to learn this skill.

Top Tech Tip # 7

We had a couple of comments in our recent BYOD survey about Tik Tok. I have included some wisdom from Vanessa Stupples (Primary Schools ICT Facilitator funded by the ILT.

Vanessa says……..

The rise of Tik Tok has been phenomenal over the past few months, due to both lockdown boredom and the fact that it is an app for teens and tweens. Many users are unaware of the security issues that this app has, and although Tik Tok are working on resolving many of them, there is still debate as to whether this is a safe app for your phone.

On the one hand I think Tik Tok is great, it gets kids out dancing, moving and working together with friends, on the other hand it is actually a social media platform that comes with risks. Any social media platform uses the personal information in your profile to target ads etc, and anyone can message anyone else, meaning that children can be contacted by unknown adults showing predatory behaviour. On top of this Tik Tok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China, and has shown some serious security risks. It has publicly shared information about children under 13 without parental consent, the data is easily hacked as it is not encrypted (among other techie things) meaning that hackers can show the app user videos that are meant to shock or are not age appropriate, or untrue. The app also shares all data from your mobile phone with ByteDance and through them, the Chinese Government. Some people may not be bothered by this, but personally I don't particularly want anyone else knowing my contact list, credit card details, fingerprint, photos etc. The US military has banned the use of Tik Tok on any of their phones for this reason.

Taking Tik Tok away from teenagers is not something that I want to do, BUT it is important that they know the risks of using the app. Tik Tok are working on increasing their security but it takes time. If you want to continue using the app, make sure that you have the latest available update. The default setting is public but you can change your account to a private setting, and TALK to your students or children about what they are using and how to be safe. Better yet, use it safely on a webpage and forego the phone completely.

Each year, CORE Education’s experienced staff of researchers, educators, and digital technology experts pool their expertise and share their understandings to identify the trends and influences that are expected to make a growing impact upon education in New Zealand in the coming year.

Across the themes of structural, process, economic, cultural and technology, we explore why the theme is important, summarise patterns and trends seen, share examples of impact and consider what we might see in the future. Each theme concludes with questions to guide your thinking and discussion within your setting.

We hope that the Trends stimulate valuable discussion among your colleagues, peers and the wider community.

Top Tech Tip #6

N4L (Network For Learning) our school filter for home devices If you would like to have a filter on your child's home device, you can download a filter from our School Website. Log onto your child's device and go to the Waihopai School website. Go to school the information tab and click on BYOD internet safety Then on the BYOD Waihopai School filtering Certificate click on the image N4L When you do this, no preview will be available, you can download it and install it and your child's device will be filtered by N4L. This will prevent most unwanted content being displayed on their device.

Please ensure you have joined your child's class on seesaw to get updates about their current learning and possible future learning.

Top tech tip # 4

Create a family media agreement Netsafe wants all Kiwi kids and their families to have a safe and positive time while using the internet and devices. It can be useful for families to agree on some guidelines so this can be done. A media agreement can have more impact when children contribute their own ideas. This agreement might include designated tech-free zones such as cars, meals, bathrooms and bedrooms. Many experts recommend these areas as key places to avoid using devices. Keeping devices “in view” in common household areas is an essential internet safety strategy for many families.

Top tech tip # 3

Remember, you’re in charge.

At the end of the day, remember you’re the parent. Set boundaries and consider using filtering software and parental controls on devices (but be aware that this is only part of the solution).

There are a lot of options for parental controls on the market. Two helpful websites that can help you figure out what might work for your family are below

Top Tech Tip #2

Take an interest in your child’s online world

Talk to your child about what they’re doing online. Take an interest in their interests and consider co-viewing or co-creating with them from time to time.

Ensure you’re familiar with your child’s favourite apps or websites. Find out how they work and what they’re getting out of them.

These two websites have easy-to-read summaries of popular sites, apps, and social media:

Top tech tip #1

Don’t ban your child from using technology

The media is full of scary stories about online risks for young people. However, it’s important to not let potential problems stop you from letting your child use technology for their education and personal interests.

We live in a digital world and that’s not about to change. We need to remember that technology can enrich our lives in many ways when used well. Risks can be minimised when the whole household agrees to some solid strategies.