Keeping Our Kids Safe Online
03 March 2017
It is a given that children today will be using technology and the Internet. Whether it be to play games, to nd information, to communicate with others or even as a part of their learning at school, our children are living in a world where exposure to technology and the Internet cannot be avoided.
As students at Avondale School are encouraged to use technology in the classroom and as so many seek to spend time using technology at home (for learning, socialising and gaming), it is vitally important that they spend time learning how to be wise and safe digital citizens.
This year we have commenced a strategic program with our Year 5 and Year 6 students. As a part of their weekly Library lesson, students are spending time learning what it means to be a good digital citizen and learning how they (and we) can ensure that they are safe online.
Would our children willingly engage in online conversations with people they don’t know? Would they agree to meet up with a ‘friend’ that they have met online? Would they willingly share private information, photos and videos? Would they create a social networking pro le that can be viewed by anyone, rather than just by friends and family?
Our discussions in Library classes have so far been enthusiastic, fruitful and most de nitely worthwhile. Each class has been encouraged to come up with guidelines to help themselves and others ensure they are safe as they use the Internet. Some of these guidelines include: • Use an alias rather than your name. • If someone asks you for personal information, don’t give it to them. • Don’t post photos of yourself in your school uniform. • Check your settings to make sure they are set to private. • If something feels creepy, tell a parent or caregiver. • If you have pro les on social networking sites, make sure one of your parents or carers is one of your friends or followers.
Parents, do you know what your children are doing online? Are you aware of the games they are playing, the sites they visit and the social networks they are a part of? Why not take this opportunity to have an important conversation with your child about online safety. If you have a child in Year 5 or Year 6, ask them what they are learning during Library lessons. Ask them what advice they would give to help their friends or siblings stay safe online.
Technology is great and the Internet is a wonderful learning and socialising tool. Let’s make sure we keep our kids safe.
Mr Andrew Cameron
Director of eLearning
Avondale School Principal