This week our staff meeting was based on esafety in schools. A local police officer came in to refresh our minds and raise awareness of the apps and devices children are exposed to. Although I am a Primary School teacher it’s shocking to see that so many children as young as 6 are actively using phones, iPads and Xbox’s unsupervised by an adult.
I came out feeling shocked but what better way to raise awareness than to share it?!
I was born in a generation where we ran around our streets playing hide and seek, curby and having amazing street water fights. Our knees were grazed and our bike tryes were worn out and we would laugh until we cried most days!
The scary thing is.. that wasn’t long ago! But now a child’s life is extremely different.
Children are playing the latest games indoors, they are wanting everyone to see a great selfie of themselves. Online friends seem to be so popular for many children who feel like they don’t ‘fit’ in too.
Games so easily take you to online chat rooms, for some children this is a person to talk to and they try to build trust with them. But who is this person? Are they even who they say they are? Children are vulnerable and need to be taught what’s right from wrong and parents and teachers need to make sure they know the dangers of it!
first of all there are many abbreviations such as:
- PAW (Parents are watching)
- PITR (Parent in the room)
- PBB (Parent behind back)
- POMS (Parent over my shoulder)
- KPC (Keeping parents clueless)
- PAH (Parent at home).
Children will use this to hide and divert conversations.
I also found out about a shocking app… a secret calculator!
It looks very similar to the iPhone app, accept when you enter the password such as 4+2=6 the app unlocks and many images or other apps and conversations can be hidden behind it!
This obviously makes keeping children safe much harder. Parents especially need to be so aware of what children are doing and the kinds of apps they have.
We also discussed the addictiveness of certain games which have been created by the help of physiologists of course! Many children prefer to play on games like fortnight and despite age restrictions it is very accessible for many children. There has been a case of a child becoming so addictive to gaming they no longer leave their house and need a nappy due to holding their bladder so long to continue playing it. There are children that become anxious without their phone and new terms have been created by doctors for instance, nomophobia.
There are now centres for support and rehab for the addiction of gaming too, take a look here for more information.
So I think the curriculum in education needs a rethink too. We need to make children aware of the dangers of technology and we need to support their wellbeing. Unfortunately this can’t only be left in the hands of the parents as we will be failing many children in a new and upcoming generation of a technology dominated life!
Please share this post so it reaches as many parents and teachers as possible!!!
Let me know your thoughts.