Early Years and Online Safety: my top resources!

Digital Citizenship and online safety is such an important part of the National Curriculum and confidence to teach this subject is growing amongst teachers in upper primary years. But what is happening lower down school?

In the early years we have always been good at providing children with opportunities to develop relationship skills and problem solve in their peer groups. We have access to many age appropriate resources to discuss stranger danger and bullying. Over the last year I’ve started to see good materials published to bring online safety in to our curriculum. I want to share some of these today.

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Digital Native, isn’t.

“At TeachMeet Nottingham, March 2012, a statement “digital native isn’t” was shared during a ‘TeachMeet 100 ideas’ exercise. The meaning of this was slightly unpicked, and I understood it as an explanation that today’s children do not have a natural ability to use new technologies. The idea that the youngest of children can just pick up a device and use it off the shelf is being observed by Early Years professionals and parents alike. However, this may also be tied in with the assumption ‘they know how to use it because they are not afraid of it’. I think this is where ‘digital native isn’t’ comes in to play. If we take this assumption seriously, it could mean that we don’t see the need to teach children how to use new technologies, such as using iPad because they can demonstrate basic navigation which astounds us! Therefore we may just leave children to ‘get on with it’ because they are familiar with interactive with devices which are shaping the environment. If this is the case, then children might not ever be shown how to search Google (safely) for images of a character from their favourite book.”

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