The Smart Talk – Family Contract

Working in a 1:1 iPad school, one of the top concerns shared by parents is how much time their children are spending on digital devices. This is completely understandable and something which should be discussed openly.

As a school community it is important to involve parents and invite them to participate in this discussion. When I have met parents and talked about this topic I have always tried to explain that the technology can be used in so many positive ways, I feel very passionate about opening the possibilities of what children can do in their free time at home, other than play games or watch youtube videos.

In my meetings with parents we discuss responsible use and how to encourage children to use the technology to create content, be it their own videos, podcasts, books, etc.

If you would like some more ideas on how to encourage children to use technology creatively, then have a look at the Essential Creativity Guide for some ideas from Common Sense Media.

There are tools that can help parents manage ‘screen time’ like for example the Ourpact application that allows parents to limit screen time on a device by blocking internet and app access. Another option is TheSmartTalk, a website that produces a ‘contract’ which can be customised by parents and children and then printed and signed.

If you would like some more information regarding screen time and finding the right balance for children and the use of technology please do visit Common Sense, a very valuable resource for parents and teachers!

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