Studies have shown that children can benefit from the internet because it offers them more text-based information than other media. Internet research can help improve a child's reading and problem-solving skills as well as make learning fun. Connecting to the internet can bring a world of information into your home, the best as well as the worst of it. With this in mind, children need to be educated about safe online practices and ethics, broadly know as cyber safety.
Knowing how to use online technology safely is essential to having positive experiences online. It is important for children to learn about cyber safety and how to deal with issues which can pose a challenge for young people. Parents and educators have important roles to play in helping children to develop cyber safety understanding as well as guiding children in their online experiences.
At school children are educated on topics such as online ethics during ICT lessons and are also provided with an Australian Government initiative, Cybersafety help button, on all school computers. The cyber safety help button provides students with three choices including
Talk - Talk to a councillor about cyber bullying or anything that has worried or upset them;
Report - Report cyber bullying or anything they've seen online that isn't right and
Learn - Learn how stay safe online.
For more information on the Cybersafety Help Button, go to http://cybersmart.gov.au/ and click on the library link button.
cybersafety websites for parents include
Have a look and help keep our children safe in today’s online world.
ICT Teacher Librarian