We were fortunate enough to have Alan MacKenzie from esafetyadvisor magazine conduct a meeting regarding the current issues in online safety and usage of technology. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those parents who did attend this meeting and we are pleased to say that the feedback was resoundingly positive.
The meeting touched on several issues relating to children within our schools, from gaming to the responsible use of apps. Throughout the discussion, Alan made it very clear that this was not about scaremongering; he is a very big advocate of the use of social media and believes that children need to be able to use these things safely. We have discussed this during our many online safety days. We feel that though there are age restrictions on these applications, many of the children within our school have accessed them in some way and therefore they need to know the risks as well as how to prevent them.
He touched on the ever changing aspects of technology as well as how it is important to have an open dialogue with your children regarding how they use them. He highlighted how the best source of information on using these devices is the children themselves. Children need to able to come to an adult they trust with their concerns without worry over getting in trouble--or having their devices removed. Alan notes that our first reaction when something unsafe appears on these devices is to remove them but he argued that this was actually counterproductive and would hinder your child from coming to you with future concerns.
While there will always be safety concerns over the use of social media, the final point was that these things are so ingrained in our lives now that we need to teach our children how to use technology maturely and sensibly.
Thank you again, Alan! It was a very informative discussion and we will continue to post your online safety magazine.