A proactive approach to social media

At Long Bay College, we are well positioned to make a difference in the lives of our young people through the quality education and strong culture of care that we provide. We teach our young adults to
become critical thinkers; a valuable skill to help manage today’s complexities, including those in the online environment. Young people throughout the world are experiencing the amazing, connective and technological benefits of social media but also the extensive, detrimental effects of its misuse. Together with whānau, we can ensure our young people build confidence and become respectful, responsible global citizens both on and offline.

We support our students byencouraging positive interactions and use of digital media that reflect our school values of Care, Respect, Community and Creativity both in curriculum subjects and throughAtawhai sessions. Topics such as “Social media safety”, “The impact of technology”, “Dealing with bullying online”, “Social media is your CV”, and others, are covered. Specialist presenters attend our assemblies to
outline online safety and citizenship.

At home, an honest review of your family’s social media habits can be a great starting point. As a parent of three and as a Principal, I share some tips with you here:
• Set clear and respectful boundaries around the use of all electronic devices.
• Be disciplined about the amount of screen time your child has.
• Take an interest in your child’s ‘online’ life.
• Educate your child to think about the messages they send about themselves and others with every social media post they share.
• Discuss the importance of being authentic online.
• Talk about the impact of ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ content that could be destructive to others.
• Keep devices away from bedrooms at night to help your child sleep peacefully.
• Learn ways to protect your child from the harm of others online.
• Encourage your child to take part in a range of activities that do not require a screen to develop their skills and self-esteem.
• Make mealtimes device-free and encourage interaction and conversation with your child.
• Let your child become bored – it is, after all, the foundation of creativity.
• Model care and respect towards others both on and offline.
• Visit www.netsafe.co.nz to access a great range of resources.

Mr CJ Healey, Principal

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