Keeping Safe Online
A World Record Attempt!?
Thank you to +Tara Carnright for writing this guest blog.
Throughout the first half of the school year, several students have made appointments with me to discuss their online & social media activity. What I've observed is that some of these children have concerns about e-safety, specifically their interactions with strangers via gaming websites (e.g., Minecraft) and phone applications (e.g. LINE). Parents have also articulated their uneasiness about their children's increasing use of technology and their own ignorance regarding how to monitor their safety.
From these discussions described above, the idea was born to start the conversation with grades 3-6 regarding e-safety, to include cyberbullying. While the majority of these students have not yet been exposed to cyberbullying, this is something that they will inevitably witness or fall victim to. As educators, we are also aware of our shared responsibility in teaching our students how to be responsible digital citizens, while being especially attentive to issues surrounding personal safety and the "footprint" that's created each and every time something is texted or posted online.
As a result, 16 presentations were given over the course of 1 week. Mr. Towse and I were clearly aiming for a world record! The students, most notably those from grades 5 and 6, were highly engaged and were willing to share many of their own experiences (both positive and negative) using social media and the internet. It is important to reiterate that many of these applications (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) have age restrictions that were created with kids safety in mind. Parents, we ask for your help in ensuring your child is using the internet and social media responsibly and with your careful monitoring, to include limiting their time on their devices.
We look forward to continued discussions about this topic and your feedback on how we can further educate you and your children!