The world of technology can be an inspiring, educational and exciting place for children and it is our job as educators to support children to be able to use it successfully as it dominates modern living.
Children are increasingly accessing the internet wherever and whenever they can. We are therefore acutely aware of the importance of teaching children about the risks online. The internet can be a confusing and potentially dangerous place for children which can gravely affect their social interactions, their self-image and their mental health.
We believe that it is vital that parents, carers and school staff work together to keep our children safe online. We believe that the way to do this is not by adding sanctions and preventing access, but to have shared discussions and experiences, to model appropriate useage of the internet in terms of content and time and to listen to children’s worries and concerns.
We want our children to be sceptical and active users of the Internet. We want them to question what they see and know what to do if they feel unsafe. We want them to be in control of their Internet use and not let the internet control them.
How can you help?
Below is some advice from the NSPCC about conversations to have with your child and some questions from the Chief Medical Officer to support you to start thinking about your families’ use of technology and how you can broach this topic at home.
Questions to consider as a family:
Is your family’s screen time under control?
Does screen time interfere with what your family wants to do?
Are you able to control snacking during screen time?
Does screen time interfere with sleep?
This family agreement from ChildNet is a useful tool to begin planning appropriate use of technology at home.
What should I do if I am worried about my child?
Below is a powerpoint for a parents and carers workshop run in 2020 to discuss strategies for keeping children safe online. They are many practical ideas and links to further reading included in it.
Parent and carers guides
Here are some key guides to aspects of technology currently being accessed by children
Here are some further links to support:
This site has some good “explainers” and “how-tos”
Common Sense Media
This is a good site to use if you want to check how appropriate and/or good particular websites, games and apps arehttps://www.commonsensemedia.org/
CBBC Stay Safehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/topics/stay-safe