National PTA is pleased to announce an expansion of its PTA Connected initiative through a new collaboration with TikTok. National PTA and TikTok will help parents learn more about how their teens are using TikTok, educate families about safety on the app and guide parents in having open, ongoing conversations with their teens to ensure they are using social media productively and responsibly.
As part of the collaboration, 30 local PTAs from across the country have been awarded a grant of $1,000 each to host family workshops on online safety at their school in conjunction with Safer Internet Day, Feb. 11, 2020.
“TikTok has become one of the most popular apps among teens today. At the same time, we’ve heard from parents nationwide that TikTok is an app they don’t fully understand,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “We are pleased to have TikTok join our PTA Connected initiative to help bridge that gap and equip PTAs across the country with resources to educate parents on the app as well as engage families in a critical dialogue around digital safety and promote responsible habits online overall.”
During the family workshops, parents and teens will:
- Engage with a student panel about online safety and digital citizenship.
- Learn about available safety settings and privacy tools within TikTok.
- Complete a guided activity together that helps illustrate why teens enjoy using TikTok for creative expression.
- Be introduced to PTA Connected resources such as the Smart Talk, a free, interactive tool developed by National PTA and Symantec that helps families have ongoing conversations about digital well-being and technology use.
“We are excited to partner with PTA—an association that works to empower parents—to provide workshops for families. One of our highest priorities at TikTok is to keep our community safe and we have built numerous features into our app for families. Our PTA Connected workshops are an opportunity for parents to learn about TikTok, the resources available through our safety center, and the tools and settings we’ve developed to let users control their app experience,” said Sean Kim, head of product at TikTok.
National PTA launched its PTA Connected initiative in fall 2018 to formalize and build on its work in the digital space in response to the growing needs and interest of parents nationwide. The goal of the initiative is to deepen the understanding and knowledge of parents, families and teachers about digital safety tools and resources; mobilize PTAs, schools and communities to engage families around best practices and shared learning; and generate collective impact. Symantec is the presenting and founding sponsor of the initiative. Additional founding sponsors include Facebook, Google and AT&T. TikTok and Life360 are supporting sponsors of the initiative.
“Parenting in the digital age is increasingly complex and it can be daunting for parents to stay on top of the platforms their children are using and ensure they are staying safe online,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Through our PTA Connected initiative, we are working to explore and address the online safety issues that are on the minds of families as well as to connect families with tools, research and support to encourage dialogue and help them navigate the digital world. Our association has been and remains committed to fostering safe, positive use of internet-connected devices and digital and social media among youth as well as providing families with tools to help their children be successful online.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.