Managing Digital Distraction

App Recommendations
Self Control (Mac only) Block out distracting websites for a set amount of time.

SelfControl is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites--even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

Cold Turkey (Windows)

Helps to filter inappropriate content. Free for basic functionality. Should be installed on your home router (not device as this will inhibit your child's ability to use the ISM network). 

Additional Resources
Common Sense Media: Screen time concerns
Digital Distraction Test

Digital Distraction - Balance in a Connected World

@ISManilaHS : Official High School Twitter account

Background: We showed this video to the kids in Homeroom to prepare them for the "Write Your Online Story" initiative

Understand Twitter

Founded in 2006, Twitter is a social broadcast network that enables people and organizations to publicly share brief messages instantly around the world. The service can be accessed on the web at, on a wide variety of mobile devices and via text messaging. Available in more than 35 languages, Twitter has more than 200 million monthly active users. or follow @twitter for more information.

Remember Twitter is a public space

Most of the communication taking place on Twitter is viewable to everyone. Since the information posted is public, it can be retweeted on the site by anyone who sees it.

While Tweets can be protected so only approved followers can see them, most users share their Tweets with everyone. If your child wants their Tweets to only be available to approved followers, they can protect their Tweets

Protect passwords

Explain to your child that passwords should never be shared, not even with their friends. If the home computer is shared, remind them to always log out when they finish their Twitter session to develop good online safety habits. It's important to log out of any websites they logged into on a shared computer, otherwise, other people may be able to access their information.

Use online safety to connect with your child

Teens in particular may feel like parents are disconnected from their perspective and fear conversations about online safety will be awkward or embarrassing. Listen to how your child is using Twitter and other online mediums. Take their online relationships seriously, ask questions and perhaps even brainstorm together to come up with solutions to safety issues they have encountered.

Keep a healthy life balance

As a parent, you're a role model for your child. Demonstrate the importance of a balance between online and other activities by encouraging family activities offline as well as online.

Encourage critical thinking

Take the opportunity to not only learn about the sorts of situations your child is experiencing online but also use these to identify solutions and encourage critical thinking. Ask them questions like:

Who are you sharing this information with?

Can you trust all the people that see the information on your Twitter account?

How could your Tweet be interpreted?

Think before tweeting

As parents, you may have seen children say or write things that were not meant to be hurtful but that others found offensive or upsetting. Help your child evaluate whether or not something is okay to post by reminding them that if they wouldn't say it to the person's face or out loud, they shouldn't say it online either.

The nature of the Internet makes it difficult to completely erase content. Consider having a conversation about how what gets posted online can hurt feelings, affect offline relationships and even jeopardize future opportunities.

Block and ignore

If your child receives unwanted tweets from another Twitter user, we generally recommend that he or she block that user and end communication. Ignoring the content shows unwillingness to engage in such interaction, and in most cases, the aggressor loses interest. This Twitter Support article explains how to block other users.

Useful Links on the use of Social Media in Education: