Last Thursday as I pondered which path my school would take on it’s way to getting the Digital Schools of Distinction Award, I received a phone call from a parent informing me that a number of pupils in one of the senior classes were accessing pornography on their mobile phones outside of school. Now despite this incident happening outside of school alarm bells went off in my head and what was I going to do now. I did speak to the class about accessing the internet safely and to report anything to a trusted adult. I also ordered the free webwise.ie SPHE resources: MySelfie and the Wider World and Webwise Primary Teachers’ Handbook for the senior class teachers which will now be taught as part of their SPHE lessons.
Everything was being aimed at teaching the pupils about internet safety and nothing for the parents! So after chatting to some parents within the school we have arranged that a McAfee employee will chat to the parents and pupils together about Internet Safety as part of their McAfee Online Safety for Kids program. This program was created with the goal to teach children how to safely access the Internet, and how to maintain strong online behavioral ethics. We will do this as part of the Safer Internet Day 2016.
I think that it is important to have this discussion between parents, pupils and teachers on how to use the internet safely. One of the parents said the best piece of advice that he received was that all internet devices must be turned off every night by nine o’ clock and left down stairs. Sharing ideas and best practice is important to ensure that children are protected while using the internet.