It is time for a courtesy reminder to parents that it is hostel policy that Year 9 and 10 hostel students must hand-in all electronic devices at 9pm Monday-Thursday. This includes all phones, iPads/tablets, laptops etc. The hostel policy is a way of ensuring that students get adequate sleep to be prepared for learning the next day. There is a significant body of research that suggests screen use before bed and into the night is very unhealthy – particularly for teenagers. The articles in the links below, can provide further information for parents on this subject.
Parents can assist hostel staff with this policy by only sending the number of devices that students need, and importantly by not sending any devices designed to circumvent this policy. It is also helpful if parents inform us if they are supplying a new device that would need to be collected under this policy.
The device policy also assists us in promoting the cybersafety of students. However, collecting-in devices or restricting internet access is not a complete strategy for dealing with cybersafety. Cybersafety education is promoted by the hostel and at school but parents also have a vital role to play. Recent research in Australia suggests that students and parents view online behaviour very differently, but that the one of the most important thing you can do as a parent to help your child is to sit down with them and have a good talk about how they use their devices. They will often also be able to tell you what the potential dangers are and how they avoid them. The important thing is for you to have the conversation as they are unlikely to initiate it.
“Many young people have skills and expertise in the use of technology, and this is potentially a significant resource for parents when enhancing their own digital literacy. Sitting down with a young person in front of a computer, or with a tablet or a mobile phone, and talking to them about how they use technology can greatly assist adults to gain the skills and the confidence to have open and ongoing conversations with their children about their technology use, as well as practical strategies to support their children’s online safety. These conversations also provide opportunities for parents to reinforce the family values that shape their children’s technology use.”*