What's on this page?

My child is in French Immersion and the language is set to French. How can I change the language to help support my child with learning at home?

You can find instructions on how to do this in the following slideshow.

What are Digital Citizenship skills?

Access to the Internet, and social media tools that help connect people globally, has a number of incredible benefits in a classroom, but it also brings with it risks. Schools have always worked with students to help them become good citizens. There are some specific skills we teach to help students continue to be safe, and to act in a caring manner, online, just as they do when they are working face-to-face. We call this collection of skills digital citizenship.

Teachers are helping students to understand how to behave online, just as they do in classroom interactions. Here are a few resources that you can work on with your child to help explore these ideas further.

Grade 3-5: www.digitalpassport.org/educator-registration

Grade 6-9: www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digital-compass

Grade 8-12: http://digitalbytes.commonsensemedia.org/

What are some of the ways I work closely with my child using the iPad?

Depending on the age of your child, the iPad may be used in a variety of different ways by the classroom teacher to help support their learning. Sitting with your child and having them show you what they did at school today using the iPad is a good strategy. If you are looking for activities to extend the learning your child is doing in class, speak with the teacher for some strategies to support the work your child is doing in class.

  • Using the Overdrive app, you can take out books from the HWDSB eBook Lending Library by following the steps in this slideshow.
  • Using the iMovie app, you can take family video and create a movie together.
  • Using research tools in the Virtual Library, you can investigate and research questions together
  • Take your iPad on a hike (in its case of course) and capture some photos of the natural world to share in class
  • Using the Pages app, make a family newspaper to share with others

How will my child learn to print and write?

Answer: Students will continue to have opportunities to learn to print and write by hand. The iPad is not a replacement for regular teaching and learning, but it is an additional learning tool. Even if apps are used for learning letter shapes, there are several apps that can help develop handwriting skills.

How can I support my child in balancing between learning activities that are digital and those that are traditional (e.g., using print books, brainstorming with peers etc.)?

Answer: Reading to and with your children is an important activity that shows them the value of reading, and reading books on your child’s device is just as valuable as reading a “paper” book. Both have a place in your child’s learning, and both digital and traditional learning activities are part of our classrooms today.

Finding the “right” balance between digital and traditional learning is best determined by what you and your child are comfortable doing together. It can be a valuable experience for your child to explain to you how they use their digital device for learning, even if it is challenging for the parent to be the “learner”.

The introduction of digital devices hasn’t changed what your child is learning, it’s just changed how your child is learning. Reading, math, history, science and all the other subjects your child is studying still have the same content, they just have new and interesting ways to find and receive that content.

If your child cannot or will not share their learning, please contact your child’s teacher for support.

How do I know whether my child is using the device for schoolwork?

Answer: Students read books and watch television both for entertainment and for school. Knowing whether a particular television show, book, or application on their device is for school or for entertainment is really the same answer. Ask your child. If you don’t believe you’re getting a reliable answer, ask your child to explain how the show, book or application is related to the learning at school. You can also speak to your child’s teacher to find out what your child is studying or get support in asking “What did you learn at school today?” Also, be sure to ask your child’s teacher if they have a classroom blog that you can visit.

My child is spending all their time at home on the device. What do I do about this?

Answer: Setting limits on how your child spends their time is an important part of parenting. Young children need guidance and clear limits on things like bedtime, eating, and behaviour. As they get older, we hope they will take more responsibility for how they spend their free time. Electronic devices such as an iPad, video games, television, and music can all distract children from spending their time productively. Setting clear limits, and enforcing those limits by removing the device from your child when the time is up, will help them to set their own limits in the future.