The Internet: where men are men, women are women, and children are FBI agents.
Believe it or not, the internet is a scary place and even the most internet ‘savvy’ have fears and reservations about posting certain information to the global online community.
The graphs to the right show the reasons why school personnel and pupils are worried about using and accessing the internet…
Society portrays the internet and social media as a necessity of modern life so it is no wonder children as young as 7 have their own Facebook profiles. Children can often, if uninformed, perceive the internet as a safe place as they have the ability to hide behind a screen. But so do many other people, who may have ulterior motifs for becoming part of the global online community and thus, potentially abuse the possible naivety of the very young social media users.
E- safety covers range of areas including the web, mobile technology along with texting, social media and online games.
Think U Know is an online resource, great for teachers, children and parents (after all parents need to be aware of the dangers posed when their children enter the ever growing kingdom of the internet). However, teachers must ensure, that from a young age, children know the dangers of the internet and the consequences that can arise. These dangers can be implicitly applied to lessons by using resources such as DigiDucks Big Decision.
Think U Know has also created ‘Sids Top Tips for Staying Safe Online’ in which short videos help some child characters navigate through the online world. The Lee and Kim child friendly video created by Think U Know effectively highlights the ‘stranger danger’ that is deep-rooted on the internet today. It portrays the sensitive issues children could potentially face when playing ‘innocent’ games online and the video could be used at the start of the lesson or as group work within a lesson.
Teachers can also carry out informative E-Safety lessons within PSHE or computing lessons. Children could make posters or leaflets informing other children about stranger danger and what to do if you are unsure about something online. This would be effective in reinforcing the idea of safety online as they are informing others while learning themselves.
Teachers (including myself) should, by remembering the acronym MRS:
- Monitor children’s activity when using computing and the internet within lessons.
- Report: Encourage children to report any worries they have about the internet or it they feel uncomfortable online
- Save and document any evidence in accordance with school policy in order to evidence reports effectively.
Cyber Aware is another great website created by the government informing the population about protecting devices, data and businesses. Although aimed at everyone, some of the information is very relevant to the computing aspect of the curriculum for KS2 regarding strong passwords and not sharing personal details online with someone you do not know personally.