Young adults accessing the internet isn't anything new. And by the time they get to the stage of using technology in education, they probably have a better grasp of it than most adults. However, that doesn't take away the fact that the internet is a scary place. It is essential to make sure that students who are accessing the world wide web in your institution are safeguarded to make sure that the information they are seeing is beneficial.
Here is some advice on how to make sure that online risk is prevented, whilst still allowing students to make the most of the online world.
Specific lessons and activities about online risk will ensure young people are equipped with the knowledge to recognise suspicious or bullying behaviour and protect themselves from harm. To ensure messages are streamlined and firmly embedded, create links across the curriculum, for example between PSHE and ICT, and repeat lessons throughout every Key Stage.
2) Recognise the signs
Through keeping a keen eye on young people’s behaviour and the social balances of peer groups, professionals are often able to tell when something might be wrong. Observe dynamics at break times and pick up on conversations or gossip that suggests a young person is worried about something or there is conflict between individuals or groups.
3) Involve parents
Parents are intrinsic to ensuring an e-safety strategy is successful. Invite them to workshops about online risk and safeguarding issues; give them practical tips on how they can reiterate messages and protect their children online in the home environment. Ensure the efforts of the school or organisation are shared, and that each parent understands the protocols in place for reporting incidents, and how complaints will be managed.
4) Staff training
It is vital to make sure each member of staff is aware of how your institution's systems work. The likes of firewalls and blocked sites can stop students from leaving the web pages they are meant to be working on. Keeping your computers constantly updated will keep students safe.
Would you like to learn more about the safeguarding measures that myday takes?