With children being born “digitally native”, with access to the internet and social media platforms at a very early age, it is imperative that they are taught how to think critically about the content they are being exposed to. It is also imperative that they are taught to understand this content and that they can be tracked across different web platforms. According to Devon (2019) many children are unaware that advertising which is tailored to their interests are so because of their activities being tracked through social media platforms or that an app requesting access to their microphone can then monitor anything that is said within earshot of their phone or tablet device. This is important information and children need to be taught about these facts in order for them to use the internet safely.
Having spoken to my daughters about these facts, and staying safe online, they have become hyper-vigilant when using their mobile devices and now come to their father or myself when any app or program requests access to their microphone or camera. They also seek approval for any uploads or downloads on their devices and we, as their parents, monitor all of the content on their mobile devices including messages, emails and app correspondence. This, in my opinion, is imperative for keeping my children safe online and these steps should be followed by all parents who allow their child access to mobile devices that can access the internet. This allows me, as a parent, to feel comfortable with my children using mobile devices and having access to the internet. I believe that educating pupils and monitoring what they are doing, as their teacher, would allow me to feel comfortable with my students using the internet and mobile devices. The internet should not be something to shy away from in school because of the fear of how safe it is, it should be embraced whilst being monitored by responsible adults.
Today, in digital technologies, we focussed on using the iMovie app on iPad to create a movie relating to internet safety. As a group we discussed our ideas in detail using the Facebook Messenger app and decided to focus on cyberbullying. We created a video showing a person uploading a video onto a social media platform and the repercussions of that upload. We concentrated how comments made by others and people’s reactions to the uploaded video can follow a person everywhere they go and that this is not something that just disappears. We wanted to ensure that the message, to speak out and not let it follow you everywhere, was clear in the video we made. To view the completed video please click below.
Below is a visual representation of the work we did whilst using iMovie and researching internet safety.
Our video is suitable for second level school pupils, it could also be used for mature first level pupils. We found that creating an internet safety iMovie and the learning involved in the process of creating the iMovie incorporated many areas of the curriculum including:
I am aware that positive friendships and relationships can promote health and the health and wellbeing of others. HWB 2-44b (Education Scotland, n.d. P.17)
Listening and Talking
I regularly select and listen to or watch texts which I enjoy and find interesting, and I can explain why I prefer certain sources.
I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice. LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.25)
Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
I understand the importance of mental wellbeing and that this can be fostered and strengthened through personal coping skills and positive relationships. I know that it is not always possible to enjoy good mental health and that if this happens there is support available. HWB 0-06a / HWB 1-06a / HWB 2-06a / HWB 3-06a / HWB 4-06a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.80)
Finding and Using Information
I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience. LIT 2-06a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.132)
I can explore online communities demonstrating an understanding of responsible digital behaviour and I’m aware of how to keep myself safe and secure. TCH 2-03a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.307)
There are many more experiences and outcomes that could come into play whilst looking at internet safety and iMovie, the topic is vast!
We made a plan of the video that we were creating, and each participant had had specific information to find, I found information for parents / carers about cyberbullying, another member of our group found statistics about cyberbullying and social media, another group member found information for teachers and the final member found information for pupils. We then shot all of our different scenes and, when these were complete, we put them together using iMovie and added in all of the information that we wanted.
I found iMovie straightforward to use, it is a good app to tinker with before beginning a creation and I found it useful to look at some of the YouTube tutorials for ideas relating to iMovie. iMovie has many tools and features to explore including adding sound, recording video, creating split screen and overlays within the creation. It is quite a sophisticated app and I can imagine that children would be very engaged with any task given to them using iMovie. iMovie encourages creativity and allows children to use their imagination, as well as allowing the child to “star” in their own creation. It is an app that would be best used in small groups within a classroom, this would encourage children to take turns, collaborate positively and be tolerant of others. I imagine that there may be children who do not wish to be filmed and others that will only want to be filmed, it will be important for the children to learn to collaborate and, with monitoring and guidance from the teacher, I believe that iMovie is a fantastic resource to teach and develop these skills. There are all vital life skills and the development of these skills is essential for life in society. I did find it difficult at times to edit the iMovie that our group created, particularly when attempting to use the split screen feature, however, I was able to quickly figure it out and edit effectively.
The group that I was part of looked at various websites regarding internet safety and we found that the NSPCC website and Thinkuknow website had a lot of relevant information for children, teachers and parents / carers regarding internet safety and, in particular, cyberbullying.
I was very impressed that Thinkuknow (2010) has videos catering for those with additional needs who may need additional information or information presented to them in a different way, they use animated videos depicting characters named Josh and Sue. According to Anti-Bullying Alliance (2017) disabled children and those with additional or special educational needs are more likely to experience cyberbullying and are less likely to have support to use the internet. Anti-Bullying Alliance have also created resources to help combat this issue as part of its All Together Programme which has worked with children to find solutions to issues such as; being unsupported to learn about cyberbullying or internet safety; disbelief when telling someone about cyberbullying and not using the internet despite being able to do so due to lack of support or discouragement from using the internet.
On the whole, I really enjoyed using iMovie and creating an internet safety video and I envisage using this tool when teaching. This is definitely a resource that I believe will engage learners and teach them key skills required for life in society.
- Anti-Bullying Alliance. (2017) Cyberbullying and SEN/disability.[Online] Available: https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/tools-information/all-about-bullying/cyberbullying-0/cyberbullying-and-sendisability. [Accessed 12 February 2019].
- Devon, N. (2019) Let’s face it, social media isn’t going anywhere. TES Magazine.[Online] 5 February. Available: https://www.tes.com/news/lets-face-it-social-media-isnt-going-anywhere. [Accessed: 12 February 2019].
- Education Scotland. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf. [Accessed: 5 February 2019].
- Thinkuknow. (2010) Know your friends with Josh and Sue – for moderate learning needs.4.08 mins [Online] Available:https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/Films-to-watch-with-your-children/Josh_and_Sue_original/[Accessed: 12 February 2019].