With ICT becoming an ever evolving technology it inevitably brings risks. The safety of those using the internet in particular children is constantly changing with the progression of programs and websites. Therefore the need for children to be internet aware is vital to ensure they keep themselves, their friends and others safe. As a trainer teacher it is vital to be aware of what safety precautions are out there, to use both on teaching practice and for our own safety.
With children becoming so technically advanced at such a young age it is vital that their safety on the internet is addressed even at a very young age. There are many simple free online websites and programmes to assist this.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has set up a website: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ .This is a child friendly website which targets a variety of age ranges, with age appropriate activities and information stressing the importance of web safety and how to be safe.
On school placement in a reception class, I noted that the whole school- children, teachers and parents included used one specific tool provided by ThinkuKnow, ‘Hectors World’ http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/Hectors-World-Safety-Button1/. I had not previously heard about this safety tool, but had seen it on computers .Here, a dolphin swims at the top of the screen and when a child feels ‘confused or scared’ they are able to click and it covers the screen until an adult is able access the computer. As mentioned above parents used this tool as well, the school ran an ‘How to be Safe at Home’ workshop, where the school promoted the use of ‘Hectors World’ on the home computer. I feel this is such a good idea as children will be familiar with this tool.
Along with interactive resources for children, ThinkuKnow also provides useful resources for teachers. I tried to sign up to this, but you can’t as a trainee teacher, but there are some resources that are free as an unregistered teacher .
In all my placement schools I have observed that at ICT stations and areas, rules have been devised by the children and teachers in order to keep safe. I noticed that on ThinkuKnow there is also a section ‘Top Tips’, which could be used a stimulus with older children to create their own rules (http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/tips/. )
I feel this website offers a wealth of resources which can be accessed and used by children, adults and parents.
This is defiantly a safety tool I will ensure is used in my setting.
Other websites I accessed were:
I specifically accessed an online safety story aimed at children in the Early Years. Here an online story showed the importance of online safety http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/teachers/ks1/readsmartie.aspx. To link with this, the website offered lesson plans and activities children could do which related to the story. This site also offered opportunities for home learning- where a book related to the class teaching can be downloaded.
This I felt was a great website with a whole host of resources free and readily available to access.