Children today have embraced new technologies as a source of information, education and entertainment. The use of digital technology has been completely normalised by this generation, and it is now fully integrated into their daily lives.
Children and young people are using technology in new and exciting ways, enhancing and enriching their lives with the many tools on offer.
In their exploration of these technologies, young people are not only developing their ICT skills, but also a whole host of ‘softer’ skills – creativity, communication and networking skills, for example – which will be much in demand by the employers of the future.
Children are increasingly referred to as ‘digital natives’: citizens born into a digital world, who grow up surrounded by and emerged in the technology and tools of the digital age.
Their confidence and skills in using this technology is typically high, but their knowledge and awareness of the inherent issues, risks and dangers is usually very low.
Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe – this isn’t just a top down approach. Children will be children – pushing boundaries and taking risks. At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim.
Read our Digital Citizenship Policy!
Links for Children
There are lots of great things to do on the Internet but, you also need to know how to stay safe online and what to do if you come across something you don’t like.
- Think U Know for 5 to 7 year olds – 5, 6 or 7? This website has been set up just for you, to help you go on the internet in a safe way and know who to talk to if you are worried.
- Think U Know for 8 to 10 year olds – showing you what’s good, look at what’s not and show you ways you can get yourself out of bad situations.
Links for Parents and Carers
Using the internet can make learning fun, fast and easy. The following sites offer help to keeping you and your child safe online:
- Think U Know – Parents and Carers – produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Their site offers really good advice on keeping your child safe online.
- DirectGov Internet Safety – offering advice on Cyberbullying, Social Networking, downloading files and online gaming as well as general advice on keeping your child safe online.
- Keep them safe – free online course to help parents to protect their children against sexual exploitation