Media Balance and Well-being Toolkit

To support students in developing an internal sense of "media balance", FCPS is providing guidance to families.

This Media Balance and Well-being Guide provides key points, guiding questions, and a toolkit of resources to help parents support healthy and balanced technology use in the home.

Anticipate challenges and take proactive action

creative and critical thinker Portrait of a Graduate iconKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Anticipate student challenges and turn them into learning opportunities.
  • Model, teach, and mentor students around appropriate technology use.
  • Use reflective language that supports student problem solving when challenges arise.

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Ensure screen-time is educational.

graduation cap with a globeKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

When using digital media, look for opportunities to teach media literacy and character traits.

When using digital media, consider:

  • The content.
  • The context (when, where, why, how and with whom).
  • The different needs of children in relation to technology and media use.
  • The added value of the technology/media use.

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Use Technology in a Goal-Directed and Purposeful Manner

Goal Directed Portrait of a Graduate icon (compass)Key Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Technology use should be intentional with a goal or purpose in mind.
  • Using technology to avoid uncomfortable feelings such as boredom impacts our ability to find productive ways to manage feelings.

 

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Balance Online and Offline Learning Experiences and Materials

communicator Portrait of a Graduate iconKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Face to face and digital communication and collaboration are both necessary and need direct instruction, practice, monitoring, and mentoring.
  • Children need opportunities to use a variety of materials for learning.
  • Be mindful of the volume of digital media consumption.

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Prioritize active use of technology for creation, critical thinking, and collaboration.

collaborator Portrait of a Graduate iconKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Authentic use of technology for group work builds communication and collaboration skills.
  • Using technology to help others enhances our sense of well-being and belonging.
  • Too much passive use of technology correlates with increased depression, anxiety and attention issues.

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Use high quality, age appropriate, and FCPS approved educational resources

Use high quality, age appropriate, and FCPS approved educational resources.Key Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Use digital tools and other media that are an appropriate match for a child's needs, abilities, interests, and developmental stage.
  • FCPS students have access to a library of approved tools and digital resources in the FCPS Digital Ecosystem.

 

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Use routines to develop healthy habits for technology use.

stethoscope, heart, and a computer monitor Key Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Technology can impact your health, much like nutrition, sleep and exercise.
  • Monitor your body, mind, and actions when using technology and make healthy choices.

 

 

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

Create and Consistently Follow Expectations for Technology Use

monthly calendar and clockKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

Create and consistently follow home expectations that address:

  • What a caring and culturally responsive environment looks and sounds like.
  • When, where, and what technology can be used and under what conditions.
  • Care and maintenance of equipment.

 

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians

  • Do I model and foster a caring and inclusive culture when using digital tools and services?
  • Have I established expectations and consequences for technology use at home?
  • Do I follow through with agreed upon consequences when expectations are not followed?
  • Do I revisit expectations and consider a gradual release of control as my children show readiness and responsibility?

Actively Monitor and Mediate Technology Use

Ethical and Global Citizen Portrait of a Graduate iconKey Points for Parents and Guardians to Remember

  • Monitor your own digital footprint.
  • Monitor and mediate children’s interactions in digital environments.
  • Help children understand, interpret, and analyze what they see, hear and experience online.
  • Model and teach self-regulation strategies for managing challenges when online.

Guiding Questions for Parents and Guardians