It seems obvious to me that, in the current age where children have access to all types of mobile internet-enabled devices, E Safety is possibly the most important aspect of the Computing curriculum. It is almost impossible these days to completely prevent a child from accessing the internet. Therefore, it is vital that we teach them how to behave safely and responsibly when online.
At the school where I teach, we provide regular teaching about E Safety as we recognise its importance as I am sure other schools do. There are some fantastic resources out there such as http://www.thinkunow.co.uk and http://www.childnet.com Both of these websites have a range of resources to help with the teaching of E Safety as well as presentations to help with parent sessions.
While working with Year 6, I decided to take a different slant on E Safety. Having discussed with the class some of the ways we should behave online (after using some of the resources mentioned above), I decided to ask them to think about E Safety from a parent’s perspective. I asked them to think about what advice they would give to a child of their’s about how to stay safe online. This really helped them to focus on the key issues and we decided to make posters that could be displayed in child’s bedroom as constant reminders for them. The children engaged with the task enthusiastically and the resulting discussions and outcomes reflected how seriously they had taken the task. This was very reassuring for me.
We then moved onto to discuss cyber bullying using this amazing resource from the Canadian government.
It is an interactive Youtube video where the girl in the video reacts to the responses that are typed in. For example, if something unkind is typed, she cries or retreats to the back of the room, This is avery powerful way of getting the message across that words can hurt. As a good friend of mine and an excellent teacher once said “If you wouldn’t shout it in the playground, don’t put it online.” Great advice!