Here’s a step-by-step guide for parents to keep their children safe when using the Scratch coding platform:

  1. Understand Scratch: Familiarize yourself with Scratch by exploring its features, understanding how children can create projects, and the community aspect of the platform.
  2. Create a Parent Account: Start by creating your own parent account on the Scratch website. This will allow you to monitor your child’s activity and set up appropriate privacy settings.  I have a teachers account set-up so I can access the childrens work that they complete during our iZWiZ after-school clubs.  This also allows me to monitor the chats and interactions between the students.  You can do the same via a parents account if creating an account for any siblings to be able to use scratch at home and this allows them to save their work each week.
  3. Set Up Your Child’s Account:
    • Help your child create their own Scratch account. Make sure to use a username that doesn’t reveal personal information.
    • Assist them in setting up a strong password that they can remember.
    • Encourage them to choose a profile picture or avatar that doesn’t reveal their identity.
  4. Review Scratch Guidelines: Go over the Scratch Community Guidelines with your child. Discuss appropriate behavior, respect for others, and the types of projects that are allowed on the platform.
  5. Privacy Settings:
    • Navigate to your child’s account settings and adjust the privacy settings according to your preferences.
    • Decide whether you want their projects and activity to be visible to the public, only to registered users, or set them to private.
    • Enable moderation features such as pre-moderation of comments and project sharing if you want more control over interactions.
  6. Educate on Internet Safety:
    • Teach your child about the importance of internet safety, including not sharing personal information such as full name, address, phone number, or school.
    • Discuss the risks of interacting with strangers online and emphasize the importance of reporting any inappropriate behavior or content to you.
  7. Supervise Initial Projects: Sit down with your child as they create their first projects on Scratch. Offer guidance, help them understand the features, and ensure they’re creating appropriate content.
  8. Encourage Creativity and Learning: Encourage your child to explore and experiment with coding concepts on Scratch. Emphasize the educational aspect of the platform and how it can help them develop valuable skills in programming, problem-solving, and creativity.
  9. Regular Check-ins: Make it a habit to check in with your child regularly about their activity on Scratch. Ask them about the projects they’re working on, who they’re interacting with, and if they’ve encountered any issues or concerns.
  10. Monitor Interactions: Keep an eye on your child’s interactions with other users on Scratch. Review comments on their projects and check their inbox for messages. Address any inappropriate behavior or content immediately.
  11. Encourage Positive Interactions: Teach your child about being respectful and supportive when interacting with others on Scratch. Encourage them to give constructive feedback and praise their peers’ creations.
  12. Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes or updates to the Scratch platform and its policies. Continue to educate yourself on internet safety best practices to ensure your child’s online experience remains safe and positive.

By following these steps and maintaining open communication with your child, you can help them safely navigate and enjoy their experience on the Scratch coding platform.  Let me know how you get on.  Emma.