Why cyber resilience and internet safety?
The Internet safety for children and young people: national action plan, from the Scottish Government, states the aim of: “[…] children and young people to be protected, safe and supported in the online world and for them to be able to enjoy the internet, show resilience and take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer.”
The plan has three broad aims but the first two certainly fall into the remit of educators:
- Giving everybody the skills, knowledge and understanding to help children and young people stay safe online: we will help parents, carers and people who work with children and families to understand how to help children stay safe online and how to deal with problems if they occur.
- Inspiring safe and responsible use and behaviour: we will make it clear that individuals, including children and young people themselves, need to take responsibility for their own online behaviour.
Education Scotland’s HWB guidance defines a resilient child as one who can:
“resist adversity, cope with uncertainty and recover more successfully from traumatic events or episodes.”
Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
The Cyber Toolkit for Teachers can support teachers to understand how children and young people use the internet and the potential risks of doing so. This focuses on how devices and accounts are used to consume, create and communicate.
Social wellbeing may focus on aspects of citizenship and values: how they participate and interact with others online – are they respectful to others?
Mental and emotional wellbeing may focus on aspects of interactions with others and how the behaviour of others may affect them – how do they manage these interactions and develop resilience to overcome them?
Any learner who potentially experiences harm in these areas should contact Childline.
‘Screen time’ is often spoken about in terms of children and young people’s health and wellbeing but the OECD (p42, 2019) states that such studies have ‘weak findings, are correlational and an unwarranted moral panic.’ Therefore, teachers may avoid teaching the harms of ‘too much screen time’ and focus on other aspects of cyber resilience.
Relationships, sexual health and parenthood
Children and young people should learn about relationships that are healthy, respectful, and based on trust and respect. However, there may also be a need to support them when this is not the case.
The NSPCC defines Technology-Assisted Harmful Sexual Behaviour (TAHSB) as: “a range of behaviour including the developmentally inappropriate use of pornography, online sexual abuse, grooming, sexting.”
Education Scotland have collaborated with Stop It Now to create guidance and support for teachers on Technology-Assisted Harmful Sexual Behaviour (TAHSB). The TAHSB programme is free and can be delivered in any local authority.