We began today’s lesson by discussing safety online and the important role the teacher plays in educating children on how to be safe online. I found it interesting and a bit intimidating just how important a role I could one day play in a child using the internet correctly and being safe online. Some people may view this as the job of the child’s parent/guardian however some adults are not confident themselves in using technology and therefore may not understand or be aware of all of the dangers and threats which are all over the internet. As a teacher if we can show children that there is always an adult who they can go to for support and advice then we can help keep children stay safe online (Simpson & Toyn, 2012). One of the main teaching points I took from today’s lesson was that, as Beauchamp discusses, when educating children on how to be safe online, this is not to be done in a way which restricts what children can do, rather in a way that makes them aware of the dangers and how to seek help. Beauchamp discusses this further by stating that the schools which have been most successful in regards to internet safety are ones which ensured children knew what to do when they had an issue online (Beauchamp, 2012.).
Whilst discussing internet safety we were shown and given time to explore various online resources to help children understand safety online. One I found particularly interesting was a website which had various resources for different age ranges including animations such as ‘Hector’s World’ showcasing some of the dangers that may be encountered online (ThinkUKnow, 2008).
Once we had discussed the importance of teaching children about being safe online and discussed various ways to approach this alongside discovering helpful resources online, we formed groups with which we would create either a short movie or a trailer related to staying safe online. We worked collaboratively and decided upon a movie highlighting the dangers of meeting someone who you have began talking with online with some humorous aspects so it maintained engagement throughout a serious subject. We took advantage of using the iPad and visited various places on the university campus which would be extremely useful when using this with a primary class as they could use various different areas and settings so more than one group could work at the same time without interrupting each other. There are many experiences and outcomes which could be covered in this lesson including (Scottish Executive 2004):
- I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances. HWB 0-03a/1-03a/2-03a/3-03a/4-03a
- I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other peoples presentations/performances. EXA 0-01a/1-01a/2-01z
- I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts, TCH 0-01a
- I can extend my knowledge of how to use digital technology to communicate with others and I am aware of ways to keep safe and secure. TCH 1-03a
- I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 1-20a/2-20a
We used a popular piece of film/literature to create an alternative, humorous ‘Hairy Snotter’ in place of Harry Potter to highlight one of the many dangers of online, you never really know who you’re talking to. This was a creative, fun, engaging and memorable task and so would be great to use in Primary Schools where the finished products could then be showcased for the whole school which would not only be an exciting and proud moment for the children involved but would also highlight some of the dangers of playing online to the whole school and could create an open forum for asking questions and reminding the children if there is anything they are worried about to speak to an adult.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Simpson D., Toyn M. (2012) Primary ICT Across the Curriculum. Sag
ThinkuKnow (2008) Hector’s World – Animated Safety Videos [Online] Available at:
https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/ [Accessed: 18 February 2018]