There’s no doubt online learning is a blessing for children. At a time when a dangerous virus is threatening humanity, learning is made possible via the internet. The platform has come to humanity’s rescue. It’s like a knight in shining armor of old saving a damsel in distress. Unfortunately, every story has its B-side. And the internet is no exception. It also has its dark sides. If you’re not careful, the evils of the internet could destroy your child’s future, with wanton abandon.
It’s important you understand how unscrupulous individuals influence children online. To satisfy their own cravings, these people have bent innocent children to their will. A recent example is how a picture of a baby posted by an unsuspecting 29-year-old mom on social media ended up in porn sites. Think of it as a gateway. The same platform that allows children to learn from afar is a two-way street. It also offers a way for other people to get in touch with them. It’s a scary thought. Luckily, it’s not one you can’t do something about.
The Dark Side of Online Learning
Just this fall, after months of waiting, over 56 million American children attended school. Roughly a tenth are in private schools; the rest are in public schools. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) notes that many of these students are taking classes online. Some are going in-person while others combine both face-to-face and online.
While the virus is taking America hostage, online learning has certainly shown a lot of promise. But things didn’t go as planned. For one, the education sector has been lambasted as unprepared for online classes.
On the other end of the spectrum, many students find themselves unable to cope with the requirements. A good number of American households lack internet access and the right tools. This has created what is now called the “homework gap.”
Protecting Your Children
The numbers are staggering. Over 100,000 children are victims of sexual exploitation yearly. And U.S. Justice Department fears around 300,000 of America’s youth are at risk.
It’s important that you protect your children from such evil.
For starters, parents must recognize the early stages of online abuse. You must be vigilant. It’s the only way to identify warning signs of online predation. Luckily there are apps that can help you monitor children’s online activity. One is securly.com. This app is spot on in making the online learning experience safer for children.
Additionally, consulting a family attorney should be wise right from the get-go. A legal professional should be able to help you find ways to prevent sexual predation online. Moreover, it allows you to weigh your options and not tamper with evidence when infractions take place.
Putting Effective Boundaries
Most importantly, you should take the time to talk to your child. Making your child aware of the dangers of online learning is a big first step to protecting him. No less than the UNICEF itself has encouraged having open dialogues with your child about who they can talk to online.
To that end, you must establish rules. This should include the limits as to the internet and computer use. That means you must discuss hows and whens. Be clear about these things right from the start.
It’s all about helping your child establish proper boundaries.
On your part, keeping a tab on their online activity is wise. Aside from the software mentioned above, you can also check the history in Google Chrome or whatever browser your son or daughter is using.
Lastly, keep in touch with the school. Open communication lines. Take time to learn about your child’s school district policies. It’s wise to establish local reporting mechanisms. Local hotlines and helplines are handy when things go out of hand.
You can’t choose to look the other way when it comes to keeping your child away from online predators. You need to be vigilant. Keeping a close relationship with your kid is key. Set things up to prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of your child. Lastly, teach your child clear-cut boundaries. A predator is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Once unmasked, catching one is easy.