By Jessica Allocca, M. Ed, remedial educator and founder of Eureka Concept
Students are increasingly exposed to digital technology, with all the associated risks. The web is a huge and extremely stimulating source of information for learning, but it should be used with caution. Eureka Concept offers a new activity aimed at making primary school students aware of the risks of the web.
Why make students aware of the dangers of the Web?
The Internet is a stimulating place to explore, discover, learn and interact with people. Unfortunately, there are also traps, predators, identity thieves, and other online tools or resources that can try to do harm. In order to be safe online, it is important for young people to be aware of the dangers.
Many of them are convinced that they know how to navigate safely. However, they rarely have a full understanding of the power of the web and all of the potential short and long term risks or repercussions. This is because they may not always think about the consequences of their actions, which can lead them to share too much information about themselves. Children are also sometimes specifically targeted by advertisements, cyberbullies or predators of all kinds.
As students learn new skills and knowledge in technology, they become more adventurous in using it. Online behavior and safety should therefore be an integral part of their learning environment.
How to protect young people from the risks of the web?
There is a variety of means and tools that make it possible to make children aware of the dangers of digital technology. One of the most effective practices is to educate them by openly discussing the topic. Indeed, it is essential, by adapting the information to the children's age and level of understanding, to expose them to good practices for safe navigation.
First of all, it is essential to be familiar with the different types of online dangers. For example, children and teens may find inappropriate content, such as pornography, violence, or obscene language. There is also the possibility of cyberbullying or cyberstalking from other people. This does not mean that students will face all of these threats; however, knowing the dangers can go a long way in helping you make the right choices online.
Which activity to choose to open the discussion?
Eureka Concept, a Quebec company, recently launched Think before you click, an activity to raise awareness of the dangers of the Web. It is a free video capsule that allows elementary teachers to introduce the subject to their students. In addition, various activities accompany the capsule in order to initiate discussions, but also to explore this universe and to promote the integration of the content.