From educating children about e-safety in the classroom to helping parents teach online safety to their children when they’re at home, the role teachers play in keeping children safe online is ever expanding. 70% of parents look to their child’s school for advice about internet safety.
The internet is a wonderful development both for children and teachers. Long gone are the days when children had to wade through an encyclopedia to learn about the wider world around them. Nowadays, the answer to any question they have is merely a click away: on the worldwide web. Enquiring young minds are now endlessly able to expand their knowledge: learning and socialising, adapting to different technologies and engaging with the world around them in new and exciting ways. However, that same curiosity that makes teaching so fun and rewarding also has its drawbacks when it comes to keeping children safe online.
Dangers that children may face in the ‘real world’ such as being bullied, watching something that’s inappropriate for their age, or inadvertently revealing personal information about themselves to predatory adults are issues that they also need to be aware of in their online worlds.
Whilst schools have always taken these issues extremely seriously, the addition of e-safety to the new National Curriculum for primary schools acknowledges something teachers have known for a long time: parents are looking to teachers to help educate their children about e-safety. With only half of parents feeling equipped to teach their children about e-safety at home, the challenge for teachers is not simply finding the best resources to teach about e-safety in an age appropriate way, but also to communicate that message in ways that will help parents to continue teaching their children about e-safety when they’re at home.
As an online portal for parents about how to keep their child safe online, InternetMatters.org already offers a wide range of resources and e-safety advice for parents. To coincide with the new National Curriculum, a recently launched ‘Schools’ section now offers resources for teachers too.
E-safety Support members can also access a selection of resources the help parental engagement, including an online training module specifically for parents. To find out more, visit our online training page.
If you have any examples of parental engagement issues or successes in your school, please let us know using the comments section below.