What's New With 181 Tech?

Check here often for news and updates from the technology department.

September 20, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

Welcome to another school year!  In an effort to help keep our students safe online and promote positive digital citizenship, I will be sharing short tips with you, their families, both through email and on our district social media pages.  A big thank you goes to Teen Safe this year which is allowing us to use snips from their Digital Safety infographic to help communicate these important tips. Please visit their website for further information about staying safe online along with many other important topics.  If you are ever interested in further discussion around a topic please don’t hesitate to contact me, Sarah Porisch, Director of Technology for Brainerd Public Schools. Thank you for joining us in this important topic!

The following document provides a detailed plan of action along with talking points along the way.


May 10, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

One of the number one things that we can do to keep our kids safe online is to be proactive about the monitoring of their devices and keeping open communication about technology use.  

“While a vast majority of teens (90 percent) say their parents trust them to be responsible online, 45 percent said they would change something about their online behavior if their parents were watching.”

Source : https://www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2014/q2/20140603-01.aspx

Family media plans are a great way to start the conversation and identify the expectations of technology use.  The following document provides a detailed plan of action along with talking points along the way.


April 13, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

Digital citizenship reminder: monitor the conversation areas of video games

Parents, do your children play games online on an internet connected device such as an iPod Touch, iPhone, Android device, gameboy, Wii, Playstation or XBox? Did you know that many games have conversation areas the same as online chat rooms? Even though there are real risks in playing today's games, there are many ways you can protect your children.

The website Chat Danger suggests parents share the following:

  • Be careful who you trust online.

  • Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous.

  • Stay in charge in chat.

  • Look after each other.

  • Think about your username or "handle."

  • Learn how to block or report another player.

  • You can always kick someone out of the game if they are making you feel uncomfortable.

  • If there is voice chat on the game, sometimes you can disguise your voice by using a voice mask.

Learn more at: http://www.childnet.com/resources/online-gaming-an-introduction-for-parents

March 22, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

Digital citizenship reminder: properly adjust privacy settings on your child’s social networking sites

A survey of 10 to 17 year olds revealed 34 percent had posted their real names, telephone numbers, home addresses, or the names of their school online where anyone could see and locate them. Forty-five percent had posted their dates of birth or ages, and 18 percent had posted pictures of themselves.

Many social networking sites and chat rooms have adjustable privacy settings to restrict viewing access. Parents and guardians, talk with your child about the importance of these settings and your expectations of who should be allowed to view their profiles.

High privacy settings are suggested for children using chat rooms. Most chat rooms allow users to control whether contacts can see their status, including if they're online or not. Some enable users to block messages from certain contacts on their list. Parent/guardians may find this feature useful for friends or non-relatives.

For each of these internet tools, a screen name is needed to create an account. Encourage your child to think about the impression that screen names can make. A good screen name won't reveal much about how old they are, where they live or their gender. For privacy purposes, your child's screen names should not be the same as their email address.

You may want to limit your child's online "friends" to people they actually know.

  • As facial expressions, body language and other visual cues are not expressed online, teens may feel free to do or say things that they wouldn't otherwise. Remind them that behind the screen names, profiles and avatars are real people with real feelings.

  • When you talk to your teen, set reasonable expectations. Anticipate how you will react if you find out that he/she has done something online that you haven't approved.

For more information on this topic, please visit: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/protecting-personal-privacy-online

February 7, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

Digital citizenship reminder: texting on personal devices or cell phones

Kids love to text because it connects them to private moments with friends, no matter where they are or what else they’re doing. Billions of text messages are sent every year from our kids’ mobile devices. While most kids use messaging responsibly, it’s still a powerful and extremely private communication tool that can be used irresponsibly.

With texting, kids can’t see the reaction of the person receiving the message, so their actions can be separated from the consequences. Young people can be cruel, and their judgment and impulse control are not yet fully developed. If a text exchange becomes unpleasant, it can be very hurtful or even dangerous to their well being.

For more texting information visit: http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0025-kids-and-mobile-phones or https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cell-phone-parenting

January 11, 2018
Digital Citizenship Message

Digital citizenship reminder: how to use social networking safely

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, chat rooms, virtual worlds, and blogs are how tweens and teens communicate online; it's important to help your child learn how to navigate these spaces safely. Among the pitfalls that come with online socializing are sharing too much information or posting comments, photos, or videos that can damage a reputation or hurt someone's feelings.

Talk to your kids

Applying real-world judgment is important. When your kids begin socializing online, you may want to talk to them about certain risks:

  • Inappropriate conduct: the online world can feel anonymous. Kids sometimes forget that they are still accountable for their actions.

  • Inappropriate contact: some people online have bad intentions, including bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers.

  • Inappropriate content: you may be concerned that your kids could find pornography, violence, or hate speech online.

You can reduce these risks by talking to your kids about how they communicate – online and off – and encouraging them to engage in conduct they can be proud of.

December 14, 2017
Digital Citizenship Message

Technology can be used to enhance learning and communication.  However, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.  

Teens are spending an average of 5 hours and 38 minutes online every day.  The American Academy of Pediatrics newest study now suggests the following screen time guidelines.

18 months and younger - 0 Hours

2 to 5 years old - 1 Hour

6 Years and Over - Parent Determines

The AAP defines screen time as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. They do not consider using digital media for homework and other learning purposes while defining the above guidelines.

Every family is different and every family will have different screen time rules and expectations.  The important thing is to discuss those expectations with everyone in the family to ensure proper use of devices.

Families can create a media plan using the following resource : https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx

November 9, 2017
Digital Citizenship Message

Digital citizenship reminder: how to handle cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying or harassment that happens online. It can happen in an email, a text message, a game, or on a social networking site. It might involve spreading rumors or images posted on someone's profile or passed around for others to see, or creating a group or page to make a person feel left out.

If your child is targeted by a cyberbully, keep a cool head. Remind your child that most people realize bullying is wrong. Tell your child not to respond in any way. Instead, encourage him or her to work with you to save the evidence and talk to you about it. If the bullying persists, share the record with school officials or local law enforcement.

Know what to do if your child experiences cyberbullying with these helpful resources, http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0028-cyberbullying

October 24, 2017 Early Childhood Technology Use
The presentation linked below was used to share data regarding technology use among our youngest learners and spark discussion around this topic. Please find the link to the presentation below.  

Click here to view the presentation.

October 12, 2017
Digital Citizenship Message

Internet safety: is technology safe for you child?

Online safety is an important parent-child discussion to revisit frequently. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers in their own home. While many potential dangers are filtered at school, parents sometimes forget that children may have direct access to inappropriate sites at home.

Here are some things to review with your child or teen from NetSmartz.org:

  • Anything posted online creates a digital record, often called a "digital footprint." Nothing online is totally private, even if it is intend it to be. Once digitized, it can be saved, sent and reposted elsewhere.

  • A good rule of thumb: If students don't want a parent, teacher, principal, future employer, or college admissions office to know something, it shouldn’t be posted online at all.

  • "Friends" aren't always who they say they are; undercover police officers and pedophiles pretend to be teens online.

  • Personal information shouldn’t be posted online. This includes: full name, address, phone number, email, where students are meeting friends, or where they hang out.


September 14, 2017
Digital Citizenship Message

Living online in today’s world, whether texting, sharing photos and videos, posting or online gaming, social media tools and many other things people may do online can lead to many dangers such as embarrassing oneself, over-sharing information or interacting with dangerous people. During the school year we will be providing students and parents tips about online safety using NetSmartz.org, Common Sense Media, and other research based resources.  Watch for these tips and tools monthly in your email.  

We would like to thank the Anoka-Hennepin School District technology team for allowing our district and others to use these important messages to help our students and families stay safe while using the internet.

 June 7, 2017
Community Technology Event
Internet Safety and Productive Summer Screen Time

Thank you to all community members that joined us on June 7th to learn and discuss internet safety and productive summer screen time.  We hope that everyone was able to take home helpful information.  Please find the link to the presentation below for all those that were not able to attend.  Please watch for upcoming events here and on Facebook.

Click here to view the presentation.


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