Young girl in classroomStudents with broadband internet access are most likely to earn higher scores than those with slow or no connection, according to a study released by Michigan State University in 2020. The study highlighted a strong link between education and the importance of having a reliable broadband network to make key educational resources more accessible to kids.

As important as broadband access is for school-age children and teens, it does come with the need to take some care. That’s where parental guidance and monitoring is key. Here are a few tips to help kids stay safe while using the internet and to help them leverage it as an educational resource with endless possibilities.

Internet Safety Tips for All Ages

  • Work as a family to create a list of internet rules.
  • Set parental controls at age-appropriate levels. You can also use filtering and monitoring tools to prevent access to inappropriate content. Any tools you choose should not be a replacement for parental supervision.
  • Supervise all web-enabled devices, and keep computers in a public area of your house.
  • Advise your kids not to share any sensitive personal information or communicate with someone they don’t know.

Tips to Help Students Make the Most of Their Connection

Check with your child’s teacher or with your school district to see if they offer or recommend any online educational tools and resources to complement what your child is learning in school.

Get your child acquainted with a variety of free educational websites that cover several age-appropriate subjects — from reading and word recognition to STEM-based activities and games. For a list of the best educational websites, visit the Very Well Family website. These websites provide a safe environment for your child to learn something new through engaging activities such as games, videos, printables, and much more.

Another powerful tool to help your kids do online research without being exposed to inappropriate content is Google’s Safe Search Kids website where they can search for content, images, videos, and Wikipedia articles that are age-appropriate without being at risk of accessing something dangerous or explicit.

Help your child avoid distractions by setting up specific times reserved only for educational activities and homework help, and other times for fun, entertaining activities. Make it part of your daily routine.

Do your kids love playing games on your phone or tablet? Make the most of their screen time by loading your devices with fun, educational games and apps such as ABCmouse and Noggin for preschoolers and elementary-level students, or Adventure Academy and Playground Physics for middle schoolers.

Another productive tool for writing assignments is Grammarly. Grammarly is a writing assistant that checks for mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. There is a free version and a premium version that gives more specific instructions.

The safe use of broadband internet combined with the fun, engaging educational content available online is a sure recipe to contribute to your child’s academic success!