During October, Jonathan Taylor visited Cockwood, Kenton and Kenn Primary Schools to deliver online safety training to teachers, governors, and parents. Jonathan is a Social Media and Online Safety Consultant with over 23 years’ experience in this field from his time served in the police force. Jonathan covered many interesting areas, including current problematic trends and apps, things to think about when using the internet, and also the positives that internet use can provide. The following considerations were particularly impactful:
Think about your ‘digital tattoo’: As soon as any individual has a device and begins to use it, information will start to be stored about that person (e.g. on their phone, on their games console, in search engines) This can never be erased, and could include posts you have ‘liked’, images you have searched, photos you have taken, etc. which could later be used by an organisation (e.g. university, prospective employer) to find out more about you. Try and create a positive ‘brand’ as soon as you start using devices in life, to create the profile and image that you would wish others to see.
Teach your child healthy online practices: From the age of around 10 help your child to start building up the skills they need to tackle the online world, from not making online friends who you don’t know in real life, to turning off your GPS at home so that your location can’t be tracked via your online activity. If you start passing on these sensible strategies to your child from a young age, after a few years of prompting you will have created a resilient individual, much more able to handle the challenging situations they will no doubt face online. If you leave this until they are already a teenager they are much less likely to take your advice on board.
Get involved: Don’t bury your head or shelter your child from the realities of social media and the online world. Keep communicating with them, talking them through the issues so as to arm them to combat the challenges they will face.
Many thanks to those of you who were able to attend, and to Jonathan for his time. For further information please visit onlinesafety4schools.co.uk for lots of useful information and resources.
Charlotte Wilkin, Governor