by Henry Penfold
Due to the rapid growth of technology in society, it means the awareness of e-safety for children is incredibly important. Making children aware of how to safely use the internet is the key factor to focus children's understanding. Technology is all around us all the time, iPads, Laptops, TVs and Game Consoles. As well as the amount of technology, there is also a huge amount of places that you can access Wifi. There are very few public places that you cannot access free WIFI.
One of the biggest issues I find with children and technology is them thinking they are a different person. Children can act completely different online as to face to face. Children will often say things online that they necessarily say to someone in person. In addition to this children don't see talking to a stranger online as wrong whereas straight away understanding you shouldn't talk to strangers in the street. Making children aware of this is really important as the person they think they are talking to could be totally different in real life.
Due to the amount of technology that is about nowadays e-safety needs to be constantly taught to keep children aware. I think once or twice a term to make children aware and understand what to do in certain situations. There are a number of resources that are on the internet to help children understand about e-safety. Giving children different situations that children think about how to best deal with the situation. There are also a number of books for KS1 and KS2 available online for free. Check out the safer internet day website for these free books.
As well as children understanding the key elements of e-safety it is important to involve parents in the awareness of e-safety. Parents can be left behind in technology in such a rapidly changing society. Through workshops and presentations, parents can be made aware how to protect and look after their children online. As well as making parents aware it is really important to suggest ideas which can be put in place. eg settings on tablets, settings on routers to prevent children accessing particular websites of part of the tablet.
Finally, the most useful website I have used to give to parents is, http://www.net-aware.org.uk/. This website produced by the NSPCC looks through each of the different social media websites. Each social media website is thoroughly described and made aware what the age limit is in addition to what things you will come across on the website. In the State's we like Good Digital Parenting
Henry Penfold is a year 4 teacher in Southampton who is also the ICT leader. He is keen on technology and how it can support learning. He is a Primary School Teacher, KS2, and ICT coordinator as well as a Keen Cricket follower.