Today is Safer Internet Day. The media is painting our world with online safety stories, hints and tips.
As we raise our first truly digital generation, parents and teachers not only face the stress of teaching their children how to deal with issues that arise in everyday life, but also the complexity of teaching online safety. From text messaging and online video channels to social networking sites and the latest live streaming platforms, it is a minefield.
Parents and professionals face the constant questions; How do you teach your child or your pupils to interact online? Who should you they be talking to? What personal information should they be giving out? Do they understand the potential consequences? The answers to an adult are obvious, however managing it and keeping on top of it is not easy. It’s also not possible to expect complete success through a one off lesson. Safety, managing our digital footprint needs to be embedded into everyday life. Caution about what we share, who we connect with and taking ownership of the internet needs to become part of the education landscape.
At The Wonder Why Society, online safety sits at the heart of everything we do. Our learning community needs to be 100% safe. That’s why we moderate every single post and have rigid reporting mechanisms to deal with any safeguarding concerns.
When we received a post from a child about online grooming we flagged it with the school immediately. The Safeguarding Lead from the school, has since reported back to us that following our concern being raised, “It came to light that there had been potential incidents of grooming with one of our pupils in particular using an app (movie star planet) but two other girls were identified as frequent users on this app thus posing at risk. Police, parents and the local safeguarding board were all informed.”
“I would like to acknowledge the tight and rigorous moderation process you have set up at Wonder Why but also the effective way of informing schools. Due to your quick response and identification, a situation was dealt with effectively with no serious outcome to the young children at risk.”
Online safety, following the rules, digital citizenship, questioning and thinking is woven into the fabric of The Wonder Why Society. Just by using it children naturally learn the rules and our teachers guide them, offering further help.
Our moderation service is a built in feature of the service we offer schools. The platform is free of charge to all state primaries. A service that we wouldn’t be able to offer without the support of our partners Ryman and Birmingham Airport. So thanks goes to them too.
This post was difficult to write, but talking about online safety for children, posting about it and having that conversation must be done everyday. No matter how difficult that may be. Because we must keep our children safe online.
The Wonder Why Society is free to state primary schools.