Internet Safety

You hear of so many fearful stories about children using the internet, such as: online strangers, cyberbullying and issues with protecting personal identity.

All schools have Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s). These outline the rules for using the internet for staff and children and the children’s parents are often required to sign them. Here is an example AUP for Leicestershire schools for use with younger primary children. It has been worded appropriately for young children:

Therefore it is vital to make children aware of the dangers and also how to prevent such situations. I would be inclined to use this ‘internet safety quiz’ with children, go through it together and discuss the answers. This would consolidate the importance for being careful whilst on the internet, outlining the rules and provide the opportunity for children to ask ask questions.

CBBC offer a wide range of tools suitable for teaching children about internett safety with themes that children may be familiar with e.g. Tracy Beaker – a TV show from CBBC.

 

 

After informing children about the importance of internet safety I would leave a quiz on the classroom PC/iPad for the children to use freely, this would encourage them to continue thinking about it after the group discussion; not just dismiss it. Here is a suitable quiz at safekids.com:

Another way to approach eSafety would be to let the children watch a video, here’s one that is suitable for Early Years children:

As a teacher it will be my responsibilty to safeguard myself and the children against online intrusion. There will be firewalls and filters in place but I must ensure children are supervised at all times when online and to check any websites prior to the children accessing them. Here are 3 alternative search engines that are safer to use with children, but still require supervision:

http://safesearchkids.com/

http://uk.ask.com/?o=432&l=sem&qsrc=119&siteid=432

http://kids.yahoo.com/search

All schools require at least one member of staff to attend Child Exploitation and Online Protection training, who will then cascade this training to other members of staff.

‘Hector’s World Safety Button’ is a fantastic idea that I wish to use in my classroom. It is a free download that installs Hector the Dolphin to swim in the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. If the children, or teacher, sees something that they do not like they can quickly click on Hector to cover the screen.

 

It was recently in the news (5th Feb 2013) that children as young as five should be taught about internet safety due to the increasing exposure of onlline pornography and cyberbullying. The whole story can be read here.

The UK have a whole day dedicated to Internet Safety, I think this could have a huge positive impact on schools; teachers could plan many activities around internet safety in a holistic manner so the requirements of the National Curriculum are still being met at the same time. UK Safer Internet Centre have a great range of resources and activities for use in the classroom – free to access or dowload.

5 Quick Classroom Activities

Assembly Script

Assembly

Lesson Plan  – This is a really flexible lesson plan adaptable for use with KS1 and KS2. It covers links across the NC through PSHE/Citizenship and Literacy.

Staff Guidance

“No doubt about it — TV, interactive video games, and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment for kids. But too much screen time can have unhealthy side effects.” Kidshealth.org is an excellent website for keeping children safe and healthy whilst letting them engage in ICT activities. It’s all about getting the balance right by limiting the time that children spend on such equipment and ensuring there is adequate supervision.

Here are a few websites that are aimed at children to help them learn about eSafety:

Safe Cyberspace Surfing

KidsHealth.org/kid/watch/house/internet_safety.html

Your Online Identity

KidsHealth.org/kid/watch/house/online_id.html

Reflection:

Although I was aware of the importance of e-Safety, I was guilty of perceiving the subject as boring. But, much to my relief, it has been far from it! There is a huge range of resources ‘out there’ to help safeguard children and teachers and many fantastic materials to teach children about the dangers and how to prevent or deal with such situations. I now have a bank of websites, ideas and even lesson plans that I could use in schools, as well as being aware of the safety precautions I need to take as a teacher to safeguard myself.

 

 

Published by

Hayley

Hello, I'm Hayley. I'm a student teacher, in my final year and I can't wait to get my own class to try all these creative ideas out. Please feel free to share your thoughts and further ideas :)

7 thoughts on “Internet Safety”

  1. I really like the idea of doing an internet safety quiz with children. I think this would provide a good foundation to children learning about e-safety.

    1. A quiz would provide a good foundation to teach children about e-safety, I agree, so maybe use it as a starter activity. This would also highlight what they already know or need more support with.

  2. It is scary to think about the possible risks and dangers online but you have highlighted the different measures and procedures that can help minimise these risks. I really like the Hector World button which can quickly hide the page without drawing too much attention to the screen.

    1. Yes I agree, the Hector’s World button is a great way of dealing with an unsuitable appearance; it is important for us teachers to know how to deal with the risks and dangers as efficiently as possible.

  3. I think that it is really important that children even in the EYFS are taught about internet safety in school as you have no idea how easily they can access the internet at home.

    1. This is very true Alice, hopefully they will bear their knowledge of e-safety in mind when using the internet outside of school too, which is probably more important as there is likely to be less safety features than in school. It would be worth asking them to think of the all the places/devices where they use the internet so they are linking to personal experience right from the start.

  4. I also really like the idea of doing a quiz with the children, because just telling them about the dangers isn’t always enough! Thank you for them websites!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *