A dad has shared distressing screenshots of messages his seven-year-old daughter received from an online predator in a bid to warn other parents.
Tagged with digital citizenship
I hope you've had a restful and happy summer break and you spent time with family and friends. After over 30 years working in education, and supporting organisations who work with young people, I've come to a single conclusion; The only thing that truly matters is that we are kind and supportive to the people around us. Whether they are colleagues, students, family, friends or neighbours - everyone deserves kindness.
I've worked in the area of online safety for almost 10 years and I provide face to face support and training to schools, colleges, charities and a range of organisations with a responsibilty for young people. I also specialise in providing support, resources and information via social media. Over the summer break I shared a range of articles and links on subjects as diverse as radicalisation, fake news and the impact of social media on body image and mental health.
There were also more quirky links to digital citizenship. Did you know 30 million Facebook users have died in the first 8 years of its existence?
Hurricane Harvey was the cause of wide spread devastation.. and fake news. There's that shark again.
Also, in August Safer Internet Day 2018's Theme was announced.
When we try to engage with young people, and help them to become safe and confident digital citizens, it is very important that our messages and resources are relevant and engaging. That's why I share these things with you.
You can be up to date and informed and relevent when you support young people by simply doing one or more of the following:
You could follow my tweets on Twitter
Or, Like or Follow my Facebook Page
Or perhaps you'd find my Instagram feed a little easier to digest?
It's possible you prefer the more formal world of LinkedIn, I post resources there too.
Or.. just go old school and visit the website
I'm here to help you. If you'd like me to come to your school or organisation around Safer Internet Day 2018 then let me know, That's always a busy time for me and my diary does fill up quickly.
If you've yet to arrange your annual esafety update for your colleagues - I can help with that too.
Take care out there
Nearly half of girls aged 11 to 18 have suffered harassment or abuse on social media, new findings show.
Children as young as five have been excluded from school for sexual misconduct, an investigation has found.
Hundreds of school pupils have been either permanently or temporarily kicked out of the classroom in the last four years after being involved in sexual acts, including watching pornography and sharing indecent images, according to figures obtained by the Press Association.
This morning I was invited to speak on BBC radio about the Children's Commissioner's 5 a Day campaign launched 6 August 2017.
There is a concern that children are spending too much time online (a study by Ofcom found that 5 year olds spend up to 15 hours each week on social media) and socialmedia companies must become more responsible in the way they engage with young people.
The 5 a Day campaign suggests that there are five elements of a positive socialmedia and online 'diet'.
Give to Others
To summarise the campaign; parents could look at ways in which they can help their child use social media in more positive ways. To be more resilient and not allow the negitivity of others to impact on their sense of self worth. To proactively look at ways to be positive and supportive of others. To use socialmedia to learn new skills and be more creative, and also to make time to be physically active and particpate in sports and outdoor activities.
Children will learn from their parents and emulate their behaviour - to some extent. Parents who participate in sports and play musical instruments are more likely to have children who see the positive benefits of such activities. Similarly if a parent is always checking their socialmedia streams on their phone in the home, at the park, the playground, then children will see this as normal behaviour and almost certainly use socialmedia in the same way.
Through my work I see so many positive benefits of socialmedia engagement and it is undoubtedly the most useful resource available to me for my own professional development, and maintaining personal and professional relationships. The presenter asked me if socialmedia was 'bad for children's health.' My answer was that inevitably there will be physical issues around eye strain, posture, lack of exercise, sleep depriavation etc. yet ultimately I think 'Everything in moderation' is a useful maxim. Let's help our young people become positive, resilient, safe and creative citizens. To do this, first, we need parents to understand their role in demonstrating these attributes themselves.
What can we learn about ourselves from the things we ask online? US data scientist Seth Stephens‑Davidowitz analysed anonymous Google search results, uncovering disturbing truths about our desires, beliefs and prejudices