New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school.
The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times.
The requirement to ensure that children and young people are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote pupil achievement.
However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk within and outside the school. Some of the dangers they may face include:
• Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content
• Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information
• The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet.
• The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge
• Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers
• Access to unsuitable video / internet games
• An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet
• Plagiarism and copyright infringement
• Illegal downloading of music or video files
• The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those risks completely. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build pupils’ resilience to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.
At St Thomas', we are working hard to keep your children safe online by use of strict filtering systems and structured lessons, but it is equally important that as parents, you are aware of what your children are accessing at home.
Below you will find some useful documentation to help you keep up to date with latest developments and hopefully will inform about the most popular Apps and Social Sites that your children will want to be part of.
WhatsApp legal notice regarding age restrictions taken from their website, February 2017.
Think You Know
Come in to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what's good, what's not and what you can do about it.
The Digizen website provides information for educators, parents, carers, and young people. It is used to strengthen their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become responsible DIGItal citiZENS. It shares specific advice and resources on issues such as social networking and cyberbullying and how these relate to and affect their own and other people's online experiences and behaviours.
Childnet's mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. They work directly with children and young people from the ages of 3 to 18 on a weekly basis, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals, finding out about their real experiences online, and the positive things they are doing as well as sharing safety advice.