Session 8: eSafety

So, to finish off Year 1’s blog posts, I am writing a post about eSafety! And to open this blog post, here is a beautiful link to a beautiful song about eSafety created by CBBC. Even though it is really embarrassingly cheesy, it will prove pretty useful when teaching children about eSafety – and provides a little light entertainment before writing my last year 1 blog post on such a heavy subject!

So some important things to take from that video:

  • Don’t give away your address on a public forum
  • It is preferred that children don’t give away their full name – and teachers are often advised against giving their professional name too!
  • Be careful who you are talking to..
  • And if on a public forum – make sure your information is private at all times! Otherwise ‘nasties’ may end up knowing everything about you…

We have to remember that the Internet is a really important part of our lives these days, but it is a very public medium, which anyone can use and almost everything is available for us to access at any one time. It has many good uses but also, a lot of bad uses. For example, it is so easy for a child to accidentally come across sites with pornographic adverts, or with vulgar language being used. Here is a particular example of a case: an article about an 11 y.o. finding a nasty video.

It’s important to teach children eSafety because of the very public and accessible nature of the World Wide Web, and also because so many children are using social networking these days. I found that thisĀ KidsHealth website provides children with further information about what the Internet is, and is useful to give them background knowledge about what it is they are using. I think that sometimes, it’s better to actually give something like the Internet a definition so that we don’t take it for granted.

Unfortunately, social networking can cause a lot of worry for parents of young children. Sites like Facebook and Twitter give people opportunities to cyber-bully and have access to the public profiles of other people, who they may not know.

It is quite dangerous, sometimes, to use social networking sites, as strangers may talk to children, and pretend that they are somebody who they are not. It is very easy to trust said-strangers so we need to learn to be very wary about who we speak to!

On the other hand, however, the internet and social networking sites can be really great! I keep up to date with friends all over the UK and the world. One of my friends is from New Zealand, and, although I haven’t seen her since she left whilst we were in Year 6, I can tell you what she’s been doing for the last 10 years, because of Facebook updates and emails.

Twitter is one of my recent most favourite social networking sites as there is so much you can learn from there. Again, it can be dangerous if you’re not careful with it – but there are ways to make the site more… ‘Child Friendly’ I suppose you could call it. Privacy settings can always be changed to stop children from seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing. The Langwitches Blog has a great post about what to be wary of in Twitter, but also talks about the good things that Twitter brings – especially to education!

Anyway, to summarise this intense blog, I think it is important to teach children the ins and outs of the internet, and it is important for children to actually use the internet – but it is almost primarily important to make sure they are always safe. This means keeping personal details safe, not talking to strangers and definitely keeping to child-safe sites!

Jaz~