Digital Citizenship Week

This week is Digital Citizenship Week, and we are working closely with our students to help them think about what is right and wrong, and the impact of their behaviour online – not only the impact on their own social relationships, but also how it affects their friends and family. We also educate our students on the potentially negative aspects of technology and the internet.


For example, television series and challenges that “go global” can either result in fun, or occasionally a damaging experience. The social pressures of these kinds of activities can sometimes be difficult for children, especially younger ones, to manage. Squid Game is a current concern.



Squid Game is a Netflix thriller in which vulnerable adults are enticed into playing childhood games with life-or-death results. Netflix gives it an age rating of 15 years, and yet there have been reports around the world of young children of primary school age watching it and replicating the games, subsequently behaving unkindly or aggressively in the playground or outside of school. It contains violence, sexual content and drugs, and content has now filtered through to social media sites using #SquidGames. Its popularity continues to feed online challenges and there is now even an app which can be downloaded onto an android phone by any child of 3 years+ (therefore avoiding parental controls), with a disclaimer that states “mild/infrequent horror/fear themes”. Swans Primary School Headteacher, Miss Karen warns, “This is not appropriate viewing for our children.”

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It is important to us that our students understand the importance of a positive online experience. Therefore, this week in Swans Secondary School, we are running a series of interactive activities that exercise both sides of the brain – logic and creativity. Our students are writing letters to their future selves, building a vision board of their ideal digital life and watching informative videos with their classmates. We are encouraging them to express their perceptions of what it means to be part of a digital society.


Through classroom discussions, critical thinking and thought-provoking questions, we asked our students to define “acceptable behaviour”. Ultimately, we want them to be more aware of the consequences of online posting and sharing. We also want them to understand the value of balance, and why it is essential that they get outside and activate their bodies, as well as stimulating their brains.


Meanwhile, Primary School students are learning about internet security by having lessons dedicated to password protection and internet safety. We aim to educate our children on these core competencies before the internet becomes more prevalent in their lives. Therefore, we hope that they will be better protected and equipped in the future, whilst retaining curiosity, and a desire to continue learning and using devices in a beneficial manner.


The pandemic acted as a catalyst for change. Schools worldwide embraced Educational technologies (“Edtech”) to easily share lesson plans and teaching support materials, which certainly helped us to achieve our best ever (I)GCSE exam results! We now use a wealth of modern technologies to teach, communicate and entertain. So, whilst this week is Digital Citizenship Week, internet safety and “being kind online” are key elements of our education programme throughout the entire academic year.


Click here to learn more about the Swans School educational philosophy.



NOTE TO PARENTS:

We encourage all parents to sign-up to National Online Safety. This website provides free of charge resources to ensure that you receive accurate up-to-date information on all aspects of internet usage.

https://nationalonlinesafety.com/membership


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