The National Curriculum (2013) states that children in KS1 should be able to ‘use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contacts on the internet or other online technologies’. Whilst I was on placement I incorporated e-safety into my PSHCE lessons to ensure children in my Year 1 class were aware of the dangers of the internet and what to do if they encounter anything they are scared of, or unfamiliar with. I showed them the Lee and Kim video which proved to be effective as the children enjoyed watching this video and were able to pick up on the signs of ‘stranger danger’ and were also able to tell me what to do if such things were ever to happen to them when using technology online.
Children then made posters about ‘stranger danger’ to put up around the school to let the other children know what ‘stranger danger’ is and what to do if they are ever put into a position where they feel the person they are talking to is not being nice to them.
However, cyberbullying was the only e-safety topic my class covered whilst I was on placement with them. It would have been nice to see children learning about the content of the internet and what is acceptable to look at and what is not acceptable to look at. Ofsted (2003) suggest many different areas which are deemed as unacceptable content for children to be looking at and these include: online pornography, ignoring age ratings in games, substance abuse, lifestyle websites (e.g. anorexia and self-harm), and hate sites. I think these are definite unacceptable web contents for children to be looking at, especially children in primary schools and it is therefore highly important for teachers to understand how to monitor children’s actions on the internet when they are using them during school. It is also important for teachers to teach children about acceptable and unacceptable content to be looking at on the internet and what the dangers and risks that are exposed to children from this; therefore children will have more autonomy over the choices they make and are aware of the potential risks.
Moreover, Krotoski (2014) outlines what teachers should know about web consumption and what is acceptable or unacceptable to bring into the classroom. These include not assuming that children are knowledgeable about the content on the web; this is why teachers should incorporate these issues into their lessons so children become aware of them! Krotoski also highlights that teachers should not allow children to use particular technological systems that the teacher doesn’t understand, just because it is popular and a lot of other children are using them; I agree with this because if the teacher is unaware of the content and the context of the technological system, the teacher is openly allowing any potential risks to be exposed to children – always read up on the technological systems one brings into the classroom. He also expresses the importance of teaching children how to critically assess the assumptions made by a piece of software, and this is particularly important as children cannot always rely on others to validate the safety or importance of software.