We are amidst a technological revolution that has seen communication technologies become a common and valued utility for business and education, not least it’s children and young people. The immersion of young people’s lives within these technologies means they swim in a constant ocean of new experiences, conversations and challenges wherever they are.
How well are children equipped to survive and thrive in this technological revolution? How do they acquire the necessary skills? The EU Kids Online report concluded that:
"Schools are best placed to teach children the digital and critical literacy skills required to maximise opportunities and minimise risks. Schools are also best placed to reach all children, irrespective of socioeconomic status and other forms of inequality. For both these reasons, schools have a key role to play in encouraging and supporting creative, critical and safe uses of the internet, crucially throughout the curriculum but also at home or elsewhere
In certain countries, however, there are gaps in provision or insufficient/outdated provision of ICT in schools. More widely, there are difficulties in ensuring that digital literacy in general, and internet safety in particular, is addressed as it arises across the curriculum (not simply in ICT classes) by teachers who have been recently and appropriately trained, and with adequate resources at their disposal. Further, in many countries, schools have tended to regard children’s use of the internet at home or elsewhere (outside school) to be beyond their remit. Nonetheless, the resources of the school outstrip those of many parents, making schools the most efficient and effective way of advising children on use of the internet in any location"
But how well are schools equipped to systematically protect their children online?
Schools provide technology for teaching and learning and create safe and secure online environments for children to learn. However, beyond the school, children continue to access that online world often without those same safeguards.
Highlighting the multi award winning 360 degree safe system in the UK and the 2017 WSIS award winning Aqdar eSafe School programme in the UAE, the workshop will review the educational standards and expectations of all schools but more importantly, with national data and research identified through these programmes, illustrate the school performance in protecting and equipping their children.
The workshop will disclose what has been learnt from these programmes and how this should inform national strategy for systematic change.