For most children, their internet experience is happy and safe. However statistics show that one in five children aged 8 to 13 have reported seeing or experiencing something troubline in the past year.
Today, February 9, is the annual Safer Internet Day, with its emphasis on children and young people. In support, Petra’s Planet Share is giving away a free Ofsted and NC14-mapped e-safety course for primary schools.
Petra’s Planet Share is an exciting cloud-based, cross-curricula teaching and learning platform which offers a safe online environment for schools.
‘Children increasingly exposed to dangers’
The prevalence of technology and online content in education today offers children a wealth of new opportunities to learn in the digital world. However, outside of the safety of the four walls of the classroom, the dominance of the internet in people’s lives means that children are increasingly exposed to dangers that schools and parents can’t always monitor.
For schools, observing how children use the internet is a challenge. That’s because in this easily accessible online world children are faced with content and platforms designed for adults – and their anonymity can lead to them being put into situations where they are vulnerable. As educators, the best way to prevent children suffering online is to educate them, and prepare them for what is out there, as well as show them how to protect themselves from potentially unsafe situations.
Our free e-safety course is designed to cover three core aspects of safer internet usage, with 45-minute lesson plans on how to teach safety aspects behind online profiles, writing for an online audience and dealing with cyberbullying. Teachers simply complete the course with their class whenever suits them over a 30-day period. Then, upon completion, the school and pupils are given digital E-Safety Course Badges which can be proudly displayed on the school website or VLE to celebrate their collective achievement.
According to the UK Council for Internet Child Safety, 52 per cent of primary teachers reported that pupils at their school have experienced cyberbullying, with the most significant form of cyberbullying coming via social networking sites – despite the fact that children under the age of 13 should not be even be registered on social media sites.
Encouraging and teaching safe and responsible internet usage is something that schools are increasingly making higher priority. That’s why we wanted to offer this e-safety course for free for Safer Internet Day; empowering schools to allow children to make the most of the internet is incredibly important in today’s world, and children’s safety is just as high a priority.
Free lessons for primary – adaptable for secondary
The lesson plans are suited to the primary age group, but can easily be adapted for older children. Additionally, with Ofsted looking out for schools’ ability to demonstrate that they are addressing e-safety, courses such as this are so useful in supporting schools to simply and concisely fulfil those needs.
What content is covered in the e-safety course?*
Lesson Plan 1: My Online Identity
∙ Why passwords are important and how to create a strong one
∙ What an online identity is
∙ What a digital footprint is
∙ What content is appropriate for an online profile
∙ Understanding bias and false information in profiles
Lesson Plan 2: Writing for an Online Audience
∙ Introduction to blogs
∙ Assessing how to write for different audiences
∙ Writing a blog
∙ Assessing the written word and recognising where content may be inaccurate
∙ Referencing sources
Lesson Plan 3: Staying Safe Online
∙ What is cyberbulling and in what ways can it manifest?
∙ Understanding what makes a positive comment
∙ How to report inappropriate content online
∙ What is CEOP?
The use of the internet, both in schools and in day to day life, is set to continually rise. With this in mind, events such as Safer Internet Day play an increasingly important role in helping to raise awareness, both among staff and students, about how to navigate the online world with the same care and safety as the streets outside. Educators and education suppliers need to work together to support schools as they teach the children of today how to be digitally-savvy learners. And that’s because today, more than ever, the online world is becoming children’s playground of choice.
(*The content is designed to be used within the Petra’s Planet Share system, which is provided free of charge for the duration of the e-safety course, without any obligation or commitment to buy after completion of the course.)
Kimmo Kärpijoki is the CEO at Petra’s Planet Share for Schools, a cloud based cross-curricula teaching and learning platform that offers a safe, secure, online environment for your school, compatible on all devices. To start the free online e-safety course, follow this link to register, or visit petrasplanetshare.com for more information.