The digital world brings many amazing things that will help children to learn. It also brings dangers and we need to educate and protect our children so that they can use digital media safely and responsibly, in school and at home.
We do this by teaching them in an age appropriate way about three areas:
Content, Contact & Conduct.
exposure to inappropriate content, including indecent images and substance abuse
ignoring age ratings in games (exposure to violence associated with often racist language),
lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia/self-harm sites
how to check authenticity and accuracy of online content
privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information
their digital footprint and online reputation
health and well-being (amount of time spent online (internet or gaming))
sending and receiving of inappropriate images of themselves and others
copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership – such as music and film)
To help us to support the children's understanding of online safety, we use the following 'SMART' rules:
What can parents do to help their children?
How about banning your child from using the Internet? This is not a good idea. The Internet is now a part of everyone's lives and if your child can't access it at home then, not only are they kept from all the good things, but they are most likely going to get on it elsewhere, for example round at friends' houses. Better to control access and to reinforce the safe and responsible messages.
Put filters on your home devices - we all think children will find ways round these but in a recent survey only 16% of children said they knew how to circumnavigate controls and only 8% admitted doing so.
Monitor Internet use - Let your children know that they leave information on the computer every time they use it. Maybe use devices in common family areas or pop in from time to time to see what they are doing.
Show them how to protect themselves - help them to set up their own avatars (anonymous computer identities), how to set filters and how to block unwanted messages.
Reinforce the safe Internet messages -
- Don't put personal details online
- Never arrange to meet an Internet friend
- Think before you click, especially if you are sending a message to someone else
- Tell an adult if you receive anything that is upsetting
One in three children in the UK report being bullied online.
This can be through emails, social media sites and online games.
Encourage your child to tell you if they receive any messages that upset them.
Save any distressing content as evidence.
Inform school straight away if the messages have come from other children at Glebelands so that we can investigate.