This week we learnt about some of the technologies being used by Primary schools to aid learning. ICT is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives, so it makes sense this is reflected in Primary schools.
Things have moved on from my own days at Primary school. Computers, interactive whiteboards, and the Internet are now part of everyday school life for the children. At Primary School, I was excited to use the class computer. As most people didn’t have one at home so it was a novelty. I’m interested to know how children view computers now. I wonder if computers are just like a book, or pen to them, because they’ve grown up surrounded by this technology.
I can see it’s important for us to keep up to date with the technologies used in schools. But as technology develops, the e-safety issues also grow. So, it’s equally important to be informed of the health and safety issues that come with this new technology.
Our task was to find out about the e-safety issues in schools today. I was surprised, there were lots of key issues such as aggressive marketing to children, I hadn’t considered. I found the BECTA website useful. It’s a shame the organization no longer exists.
CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has many resources, for childen, parents and teacher need information on e-safety. It has dedicated areas for children, teachers, and parents.
This video is made by CEOP for children, to explain some e-safety issues they might come across and teach them how they can be safe.
The e-safety issues reported in the media are often sensationalized, such as children being ‘groomed’ online. These are still real dangers, but I worry some of the other issues, such as aggressive marketing, or children being exposed to explicit content will be overlooked. It’s important parents and carers know about these issues and steps they can take to keep their children safe.
Here is a video we saw in our child protection lecture. It makes some interesting points about why parents need to be aware of their children’s internet use, and the importance of training them in how they ca protect their children.
Looking at my ‘digital identity’ (DI) for the directed task, I was surprised at how much I could find out when I ‘Googled’ myself. So, I have changed my Facebook settings to private. My DI didn’t promote an unwanted or harmful image of myself, but I didn’t like the idea of my personal life and private information being available to the whole world. With more Primary age children using social networking sites, I now see it’s important they are aware they have a ‘digital identity’ and the image they are portraying of themselves on the Internet.
On my five day pre course placement, I observed a Maths lesson where children were using the ‘Mathletics’ website. This website allowed the children to compete in Maths games with other children around the world. I thought it was a nice idea for the children to know that other children in other countries do the same work as them. The teacher set the children ‘games’ to complete and they had to finish the set work before the website allowed them to choose games. The website sounded safe; only schools could join this website and children can’t use it to ‘chat’.
The class discussed why they were using cartoon ‘avatars’ to represent themselves instead of photographs, and why it was dangerous for them to put photographs of themselves on the Internet. I now see this was a perfect opportunity to bring up safety issues with children, and get them thinking of their DI.