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Pupils need internet lessons to thrive online, say Lords

BBC – Judith Burns

“Learning to survive in a world dominated by the internet should be as important for children as reading and writing, says a House of Lords report. Lessons about online responsibilities, risks and acceptable behaviour should be mandatory in all UK schools, the Lords Communications Committee argues. The internet is “hugely beneficial” but children need awareness of its hazards, said committee chairman Lord Best. Industry leaders said education was key to keeping children safe online. The Lords report builds on findings by the Children’s Commissioner for England in January that the internet is not designed for children, despite them being the biggest users by age group. “Children inhabit a world in which every aspect of their lives is mediated through technology: from health to education, from socialising to entertainment. “Yet the recognition that children have different needs to those of adults has not yet been fully accepted in the online world,” say the Lords.”(more)

To Keep Teens Safe Online, They Need To Learn To Manage Risk

KQED News Mind/Shift – April Fulton

“Parents of teens know how tricky it is to keep their kids physically safe while balancing their need for greater independence, but when it comes to keeping them safe online, it can be even trickier. Horror stories of social media harassment and exposure to explicit content leading to teen suicide or even murder abound. With 91 percent of U.S. teens accessing the Internet via a mobile device that allows them to be online anywhere and at all times of day, parents are desperately looking for ways to protect teens from online predators, bullies, and their own poor decisionmaking. Most apps sold to promote teen safety online focus on giving parents control over the phone, rather than helping teens learn how to navigate the web safely, a study finds.”(more)

Secret Teacher: giving students wifi has made lessons chaotic

The Guardian – Secret Teacher

“Our school recently started providing in-school wifi access to pupils. Teaching staff were not privy to the logic – but when the leadership team announced the news in assembly, they were cheered to the rafters by grateful children. The schools grounds have poor phone signal, so logging on through 4G had not been an option, and the internet had only been available through school computers until this point.”(more)

We must teach children about life online if they are to thrive in the real world

The Telegraph – Douglas Lloyd

“Last week the Children’s Commissioner issued a report, prepared by the Growing Up Digital Taskforce, which highlighted how childhoods are being dramatically affected because of what children access on the internet. Combined with a survey by Mumsnet, which found that 73 percent of parents are worried about their children accessing inappropriate content online, the Commissioner’s report states that children are not being educated or supported for their life online in the same way that they are prepared for life offline.”(more)

Online safety: Internet ‘not designed for children’

BBC – Staff Writer

“Youngsters are not prepared for what they are signing up to on the internet, and are frequently giving personal information away, according to the Children’s Commissioner for England. Anne Longfield said children did not know how their data was being used due to “impenetrable” terms and conditions. She said the internet was not designed for children even though they are now the biggest users. She has called for a digital ombudsman to be created to uphold their rights.”(more)