Educationally speaking, much has been written and spoken about on the subject of Information, Communication and Technology (I.C.T.) in the last few years and rightly so. Some of the information has been biased either for or against the topic, other articles have been aimed at being sensationalistic with a high “shock content” and unfounded statements. In between all this “information” there are some scientific studies that have emerged giving us sound advice and guidelines on how to best utilize this technology.
The integration of I.C.T. into formal education at Primary School and High School is still relatively new and both staff and parents are grappling with it. It is important that we familiarize ourselves with as much “good + balanced” information as possible so that we are able to engage from the position of parent and teacher in assisting our pupils and children to use I.C.T. in a positive and effective way.
In order to assist you further on this topic you are encouraged to read the Article below which has been extracted from a site called “Safer Internet – South Africa”, which shares some pertinent pointers on I.C.T. Parental guidance.
Digital Values in a Digital World
Teaching children values in the digital era
The lines between distance, time and space are blurring. A digital divide driven by millennials and a generation of digital natives – raised in a media-saturated world where being digitally savvy comes naturally.
Having a tech whiz kid is amazing…but tough. With the dangers and potential threats that come with technology, parents and educators need to understand the importance of teaching online values.
Most parents have an built in need and desire to impart good core values and principles to their children. So how can parents teach their children to install these values into everything they do…including online?
Look at what is important to you and your family
It is crucial to have an idea of what type of person you would like your child to grow up to be. For example, would you like your child to be kind, caring, generous, smart and friendly? If one of these traits tickled your fancy, then help your child to act out on these in an online environment. Ask them how they feel they could portray ‘kindness’ online. An example of this would be sharing a post of a missing dog on Facebook in order to help find it.
Address purity online
As awkward and embarrassing as this conversation may be to have with your child it is one of the most important ones. Anthony Ekanem, author of the book, “Child Safety Online: How to Protect Your Child from Online Predators”, postulates that “being online exposes children to a new way of exploring things”, these things could be online dating rooms or age restricted videos that have been blocked on their television. Parents need to prepare themselves to talk about sexualised media and the ramifications of engaging in such content.
Talk to your children and explain appropriate online behaviour and why you do not want them engaging in unsuitable information and content.
As parents, teachers or guardians, we want to raise the children of South Africa, the new generation, as best as we can. It’s our duty to keep our children and teens safe, give them the tools to advance in their lives, and to help them to grow up into stable and successful adults. In today’s technological world, part of achieving this goal involves teaching them and caring for them in the digital world.
For children of today, the ‘digital world’ is their world, and digital parenting is part of our duty as adults. This involves:
- Listening to their concerns and worries in their online lives
- Guiding them about what is right and wrong
- Setting boundaries
- Agreeing on and enforcing rules. Just as we do for all other matters of life.
When it comes to digital security, there’s never been a more important time to be extra vigilant about internet safety. Cybercrime is on the rise, and as we raise our little online beings, we need to make them aware of the dangers involved and how to avoid becoming a victim.
A study by Norton (antivirus [protection software developer) revealed that almost 9 million South Africans have been victims of cybercrime; a figure that is certainly set to rise as internet usage increases nationwide. Just like teaching a child how to cross the street, teaching them about digital security, setting boundaries about internet use and giving them a platform for discussion about these issues is our responsibility.
For further information on the above, the following site could be referred to:
Safer Internet South Africa
Principal – Operations