The Government has outlined plans not only to teach kids how to be ‘net wise’ but also the ambition to include it in the National Curriculum by September 2011.
The Guardian say the plan, named ‘Click Clever, Click Safe’ will be announced today by Gordon Brown.
Kids will get guidance and lessons on how to avoid/deal with online bullying and pedophilia from as young as 5. Teaching them how to access and use the internet will be crucial as net access becomes increasingly available to youngsters who in many cases will be unsupervised.
According to psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, who studies the impact of the internet and video games on children found that 99% of 8-17 year olds have access to the net.
This development follows Facebook’s decision to include a ‘panic button’ on the site to help children flag and avoid inappropriate material. Professor Byron has found in her research that 1 in 5 have come across content not suitable for their age leaving these ‘panic buttons’ an effective way of identifying when and where this is happening.
The plan importantly not only includes changes to the education children receive in preparing them for using the internet but also ensuring that companies, organisations and charities stick by the new safety code online.
These kind of plans couldn’t come sooner enough with the security problems young internet users can face from fraud to bullying, on a daily basis. Preparing and teaching them the warning signs is crucial in making sure they can make the most of the net and all it can offer.