Finding Balance: Helping Our Students Navigate Technology & Social Media Use

Since New Trier's 1:1 Mobile Learning Program began, educators have encouraged students to actively explore the ways they can use the technology effectively to support their schoolwork and individual learning styles. In the same way, we encourage families of our students to continue to explore, discuss, and learn around topics of teen technology and social media use. The resources below may help with that exploration, as well as provide tools for parents and guardians to support and foster their child's understanding and practice of digital responsibility and citizenship.

Resources for Families (After the Parent Engagement Event on 11/29/18)

  • Parent's Guide to Social Media Use for Kids : "Social media can be helpful rather than damaging if we lead them intentionally."
  • Quick Guides from Connect Safely (variety of topics)
  • Digital Resilience Toolkit from Find tips to help children become more digitally resilient and savvy so they can be their best digital selves and get the best out of their online world.
  • Kids & Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age : Resources to help parents teach their children about healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship.
  • Seven Steps to Good Digital Parenting from FOSI : Parents can download a valuable tool/guide that allows you to access links included in the Seven Steps to Good Digital Parenting. These resources provide more in-depth advice to support you as you manage tech use in your home.
  • e-Parenting Tutorial: Keeping up with your kids' online activities from Media Smarts: (Description from the website) "The tutorial includes five modules: "Online research and homework", "Online relationships", "Inappropriate content", "Online marketing", and "Too much time online". After completing the modules, parents are given an opportunity to work with their kids to develop a list of family rules for Internet use at home."
  • Parenting & Ed Tech Resources from Lucy Gray (NSCD): This resource provides a wealth of information and resources for families covering timely topics focused on how to parent to foster digital citizenship and responsible use of technology with your children.

Parent/Guardian Resources on iPad Parental Controls/Restrictions & Other Features

  • How to Use Restrictions and Parental Controls on iPhone and iPad from - Parental Controls, also known as Restrictions, let you manage which features, apps, and content your child can and cannot access on their iPad.
  • Why the Best Parent Control is You from Common Sense Media -Digital tools and settings can help you stay on top of your kid's online life, but can't replace staying involved, having conversations, and helping them make responsible choices.
  • iOS: Understanding Restrictions - Restrictions prevent users from using specific features and apps on the iPad. Parents must keep in mind that teachers require specific apps to be installed for their coursework. The camera, Safari, and iBooks store should remain available to students.
  • Family Guide from Apple, Inc. - Apple is continually designing new features to help make sure your child is using their iPad in a way a parent/guardian finds to be appropriate and safe.
  • Apple's Family Sharing Program - Families can become part of Apple's Family Sharing Program that allows parents/guardians approve the downloading of both free and paid apps for all family iOS devices. There are other benefits to this program, such as sharing content, locating lost devices, etc., but, what's nice is that the "parent" of the Family Sharing account will have strong visibility into what is being downloaded onto their child's iOS device(s).
  • "Screenagers" Documentary Examines Impact of Screens and New Tech on Kids' Development - Navigating a child's access to screens and technology has become one of the most difficult parenting issues today, and the mother of teenagers is examining the issue in this timely documentary called "Screenagers."
  • A Guide to Parent Controls for Kids' Tech Use (NPR) - A brief guide to the issues and solutions regarding parental controls with a focus on how kids today are trying to get around these restrictions.
  • How to Restrict Certain Apps on iPhone and iPad by - Using Restrictions is a great way to allow your kids to use all the apps and features you want them to use and none of the ones you don't.
  • How to Block Websites in Safari on an iPad - Learn how to manage the parental controls (restrictions) for web content.
  • How to Turn on Private Browsing on Your iPad - Parents should be aware that some students may choose to enable private browsing on their iPads, which does three things: (1) the iPad will no longer keep track of the websites you visit or the searches you perform in the search bar, (2) the iPad will block certain types of 'tracking' cookies from external websites, and (3) the border of the Safari app will turn black to indicate you are in private mode.

Teens & Electronics

Protecting Personal Information & Safety

Understanding Social Media Tools

  • It's Complicated by Dana Boyd. "Students, parents, and educators will find this a comprehensive study of how technology impacts teens' lives and how adults can help balance rather than vilify its inevitable use" (Publishers Weekly).
  • Reclaiming the Conversation by Sherry Turkle. "Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity - and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground."