The BBC recently reported that pupils should have internet lessons as part of their curriculum and it sparked a heated debate here in the office.
With the majority of us totally agreeing with The BBC and supporting their values, we were shocked to see why anyone wouldn’t agree with the idea. Find out what we have to say on the matter below.
The government currently runs the national curriculum and teaches subjects at all four levels. We took a look at those areas and learnt what was being taught and at what level before establishing our opinions.
One interesting piece of information we found came from the curriculum framework for key stages 1 to 4, which specified that every state-funded school should promote “the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society”.
This information made us question how the current curriculum supports these elements and made us also question if it actually does ‘promote’ the current society children are now growing up in.
This ‘Day and Age’ Has Changed Dramatically
Although we can clearly see the changes with our own eyes, there are areas of development with children that often go forgotten about in their early years of growing up. With the rise of smartphones, internet access and the way children are brought up changing every day, the team here at First Digital Media pondered on the idea of how the curriculum needs to keep up or be under achieving in its sole purpose.
We are now seeing children panic when the schoolbag trend changes, when the lunch doesn’t fit in the designer lunch box anymore and when the school photo day arrives, total pandemonium takes place. What happened to just playing outside in the mud?
We Teach Computing, So Why Not Internet Practices?
In recent years the studying of computers has come into the programme of the curriculum due to the rise in technology in all schools. Long gone are the days when pen and paper was enough, as we now see tablets, laptops and computers taking the place of the old textbook a lot of us grew up with.
The computer curriculum covers the bare minimum when it comes to computing and teaches students and includes:
- How to apply and understand basic principles and concepts of using the computer, algorithms and data
- How to analyse problems using computer terminology, writing computer programs and solving problems
- Applying information technology and evaluating new technologies leading to solving issues
- Teaches them that they are responsible, confident and able to work with computing technology
But where is the information about safety online and how to act accordingly on social media?
Is Children’s Safety Online Being Missed in Curriculum Teaching?
All of us here at First Digital Media, including those with children and those without, agree that the government is missing something major here when planning the curriculum. As a world where more than half of teenage internet users admit to carrying out risky online activity, why are we not teaching them how to behave online?
Our team totally agrees with the statement “Lessons about online responsibilities, risks and acceptable behaviour should be mandatory in all UK schools” and want to see action start now before it is too late.
Every day children are active online through online games, social media and basic learning habits and are facing inappropriate material, physical dangers, cyber bullying, illegal behaviour and the risk of leaking personal information and nothing, in our eyes, is being done about it at the core of the issue – learning.
First Digital Media Supports Online Safety
As a whole, we think that students need to be taught the right and wrong behaviour online before they find themselves in difficult situations that are out of their hands. Some of the areas we think should be covered include:
- How to deal with personal information and what should be published online
- How to deal with indecent images online and what the child should be posting or not
- Trusting sites online and other users
- Making friends online and credible profile checks
Adding this into computer studies will give children of all ages the confidence they need when they are active online and break the taboo of waiting until they are teenagers before educating them. Rather than waiting for something to go wrong and correcting them at a later date, we should start early and encourage safe practice online at all times.