How to Monitor Your Student's Online Activity

Russell Held

Between internet browsing, social media and digital conversations, it seems that students are spending more time online than ever before. This is particularly true in today's world, where yet another thing has moved to the virtual realm: school. As students spend hours of their school day online, many parents are wondering how to track their child's online activity.

Without the built-in structure of a classroom, it's important to make sure your child is staying on task and learning their course material. And of course, every parent wants to make sure their child is staying safe online. If you're a parent searching for ways to monitor your child's computer remotely during classtime, consider the following helpful tips.

1. Set Clear Internet Guidelines

Start by having an honest conversation with your child. Ask them about their online schooling experience so far, including the challenges and distractions they face. Talk about their habits while they're in class or studying. Share your expectations, and together come up with some clear guidelines for their online activity during school hours.

These guidelines can include them avoiding non-education websites while studying, leaving their phone elsewhere during class or keeping social apps closed during certain blocks of the day.

2. Discuss Their Classroom Learning

Plan to have intentional discussions with your child after their classes. Ask them what they've learned, how the flow of the class went and what homework assignments they're working on. These conversations will help reveal how attentive and engaged your child is for each class. It will also indicate whether they were focused on the topic rather than browsing other websites or apps.

3. Keep Computers in Public Places

Asking yourself how to see what your child is doing online? Perhaps the best way to know is to keep them right in view! Set their workspace up in a public part of your house, such as your living room or kitchen, and have their computer facing outwards so that the screen is visible to you. With just a quick glance, you'll be able to check and make sure they're staying on task and studying, researching, writing or engaging in educational activities.

This setup will help keep your child accountable and give you peace of mind about how they're spending their time.

4. Implement Parental Controls

If you're worried about your child spending so much time online, remember that many digital controls are available for parents. For example, Bark is an app that monitors a child's internet activity, texting and social media channels and alerts parents about any potentially dangerous activity, such as cyberbullying. You can also consider installing software that limits the use of certain websites or blocks questionable content.

5. Join Your Child's Apps

Ever heard the phrase, "If you can't beat them, join them"? When it comes to digital usage, this sentiment might just be the way to go. If you're wondering how to track your child's internet activity, head to where they spend the bulk of their time. Social media apps are common culprits. Consider getting your own account and asking your child to make theirs visible to you so that you can track their online activity firsthand.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy has adapted to online learning

Wilbraham & Monson Academy has adapted to enhanced online learning, as seen by it Online Distance Learning program. In recent months, like many schools, we've also adapted our regular classroom learning to fit an online system. Learn more about our online distance learning approach, including tips that will give you inspiration and help you determine how to best handle your child's new digital classroom. Explore Wilbraham & Monson to discover more, and feel free to contact our team with your questions!

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