Balancing Online Time

We work in partnership with parents to provide the best possible outcomes for students. This involves strong and open communication about a variety of issues. One issue that is becoming increasingly important, both in and out of the classroom, revolves around the online world, with research findings informing us that excessive screen time can impact sleep, school work and wellbeing.

The online world which we have come to rely on in so many ways, can be a source of valuable communication and entertainment, and has indeed become a great tool for education and enhancing learning experiences. From completing homework, to listening to music, to instant messaging, as well as keeping in touch on social media, the reality is many of our students will spend a lot of time online each day.  What has become apparent is that we need to assist young people to strike the right balance between online time for education and online time for entertainment and social networking. Parents and educators are well positioned to assist children in choosing quality media and putting healthy screen time habits into practice.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Loreto brings great benefit to our teaching and learning programs. We strive to create an online culture which is in keeping with the values of the school and we work with our students to ensure they are informed about the appropriate, safe and responsible use of ICT.  You would be aware that the school has made recent changes to our ICT Policy and the guidelines on mobile phone usage which now requires students to keep their mobile phones in their locker throughout the school day, unless required for a learning activity. You can view these guidelines in the Student Handbook pg. 29. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our students and teachers about the benefits that these changes have brought about not only in the classroom, but also in the playground. Students are no longer distracted by their phones and the ‘buzz’ of conversation amongst our students at recess and lunchtime is palpable. We commend our students for the way in which they have embraced the changes to these guidelines.

A valuable resource which we often use at school is the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. I would highly recommend iParent as an excellent source of information for parents. The site also has important material on what the experts say, which you might find beneficial in helping your daughter to balance her time online.

I would encourage you to peruse the information provided on the iParent site and continue this dialogue at home.

 

Mrs Lynn Long

Director of Pastoral Care