Safeguarding Young Learners Online by @PetrasPlanetEDU

Teaching Children To Become Responsible Digital Citizens


This is a promoted article, and was originally printed in the January 2015 edition of UKEdMagazine

Click here to freely read the full version

PetraPlanetFeatureTeachers across the UK are grappling with the explosion of social media and internet use by children, resulting in safeguarding issues inside and outside the classroom. It is not uncommon for e-safety risks to arise from cyber bullying, striking up online relationships with strangers and access to inappropriate material. With the popularity of smartphone ownership even amongst primary age pupils, a locked down, filtered school IT environment no longer protects the school and its children from safeguarding issues in the school grounds. This is an issue that is at the heart and mind of all stakeholders in schools today.

There is no point in wishing the internet away, it is here to stay. With that in mind, schools need to teach important netiquette skills, so children are ready to become responsible digital citizens. E-safety has been written into the new Computing curriculum but for many schools, aside from developing e-safety policies, the question is how do they teach and nurture this important 21st century skill? Schools can invest in robust web filtering software but how does this help children be prepared for the big wide world outside of school?

Learning How To Drive - Petra’s Planet for Schools

When we are learning how to drive, we don’t simply go it alone on the road. We know how dangerous this would be and have a driving instructor to guide us. The same principle should apply to teaching children to be smart with the Internet. Petra’s Planet for Schools empowers teachers to help pupils:

  • Recognise dangers when on the internet
  • Reflect on their own and other behaviour - is it acceptable or not?
  • Be confident to report e-safety issues and know who they should talk to about it

This safe online protected environment allows children to learn these essential skills. Just like a driving instructor, the teacher is there to support the child through their journey as they develop the confidence and skills to go it alone.

Teachers can introduce and engage children in using web technology such as chats, blogs, emails etc, even communicating with other classes globally. Children learn to communicate and collaborate with their peers, allowing them to appreciate the ‘good’ that can come from social media. At the same time, it enables children to develop their literacy skills as well as learning about beliefs and cultures of children from other countries. Petra’s Planet for Schools develops our children into future global citizens.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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