CSD strongly recommend a home broadband connection to access online learning resources. Although we have hotspots available upon request, a broadband connection offers a far more reliable experience to support online learning.
If the cost of broadband connectivity is a challenge, families have several options from area telecoms to try to ease that challenge.
- Comcast offers an Internet Essentials as an inexpensive home internet service.
- AT&T offers Access from AT&T as an inexpensive home internet service.
- The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has this information about internet access plans from cellphone providers.
- The federal government offers the Lifeline program to support connectivity for eligible families.
Managing family technology
Families often have questions about how best to manage students' home use of technology. Students and parents might investigate these tools and resources in making those family decisions.
Guidance and resources
While controls on devices can be effective to e.g. limit screen time and block inappropriate content, there are several non-technical yet critical things adults can do to have a positive influence on students' healthy use of technology:
- Adults rolemodeling healthy use of technology.
- Clear expectations about acceptable technology use. These should be understood by both adults and students and revisited even when things are going well.
- Regular conversations about students' online experiences -- the good, the bad, the confusing, and the just plain weird.
- Adults and students exploring together the positive ways technology can connect families, support learning, and contribute to society.
Some third-party resources to consider:
- Common Sense Media Parent Section: Common Sense Media provides resources for families to vet a variety of content, including apps and online resources. There are also articles and tips addressing a variety of opportunities and concerns surrounding students' use of technology. Este contenido también está disponible en español.
- Google's "Be Internet Awesome": Google launched this platform to "teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence." Este contenido también está disponible en español.
- The National PTA
- Stay Safe Online: Published in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance, this site provides articles and tips regarding basic online security and privacy.
Device and app management
Apple, Google, and Microsoft develop the operating systems that run on most of the computers, phones, and other devices families are likely to use. All three have tools for filtering content, managing screen time, accessing apps, etc. That said, all three also have areas where they can improve their offerings, and all of them suggest use of their tools is most effective when part of a family discussion about acceptable technology use. Additionally, since 2018, both iOS (which runs on Apple iPhones and iPads) and Android (running on other manufacturers' phones) have included tools to help people better monitor their own use of their devices.
- Apple Families: for iPhone, iPad, Macs, Apple Watch, and Apple TV
- Google Family Link: for Android, iPhone, and Chromebooks
- Microsoft Family Safety: For Windows, Android, and Xbox
Additionally, we encourage families to take advantage of the security tools embedded in the two major operating systems on some home computers:
Consider consulting trusted third-parties to evaluate apps before agreeing to install something on a child's device. Possible review sources include