This is a re-blog post originally posted by Jill Turner, and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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It’s almost that time of year again. The second Tuesday in February is Internet Safety Day.
As well as being a new SENCO I have also inherited/ acquired/ been gifted the role of ICT co-ordinator (I know it is now Computing rather than ICT but …), in my previous schools I was also ICT co-ordinator; it’s a role that seems to follow me! I think some people see the role as one where I can magically fix computers and whiteboards – oh, and monitor the teaching of ICT across the school as an extra add on. I don’t mind, technology is here to stay and if we can use it to engage those less enthusiastic learners, if we can help children to embrace its use to help them learn and develop independently then so much the better.
I am concerned at how blasé the children are about what they put and say online. A couple of years ago when MSN messenger was the big thing with my Year 6 class I asked them about “friends” on messenger. They were all happy to accept almost anyone, especially if the person asked their other real friends too. I asked if the new friend wanted them to go out and play football would they go – No! They weren’t stupid. We carried on the discussion and most of them would, having chatted for 2 weeks, then go and meet this friend. Would they tell an adult? No, they knew them.Two weeks was such a long time in their heads that by then they definitely knew this person, they were only going to play football, what was the problem?
We want children to be children. We don’t want them to grow up too fast. We want them to be safe. Their knowledge and use of social media sites outstrips mine any day of the week and I am older and more cynical and also feel very responsible for trying to teach them to keep safe. Every week in the school newsletter we have e-safety advice. Do they read it? Who knows, it doesn’t hurt though, e-safety needs to be drip fed, in a nagging mum sort of way. What we can do is bring it to the forefront of their minds at least once a year.
So February 10th is the day! I’m now off to compile CDs for each class with lots of fun but hopefully valuable resources so that the children have an explicit opportunity to learn how to be safe online in a world that they will need to use more and more as they grow up.
Image courtesy of: http://www.saferinternet.org/ Co-funded by the European Union.