Session 4 (Reflecting on some of the issues of e-safety) Lucy.

A clear and reflective description of some of the issues of  safe use of technology to support learning.

One of the most important issues relating to the safe use of technology is cyber bullying, this involves being bullied by somebody through the use of technology, for example nasty text messages and abusive comments on social networking sites. Many victims of cyber bullying are often unaware as to whether they are really being bullied as there is often know physical bullying involved. Children who are victims of cyber bullying are always encouraged  to speak to an adult that they trust. In order to prevent cyber bullying children are taught to be kind to each other and treat them as if they were in the playground.

Another important issue relating to the safe use of technology is sharing personal information, this can include sharing a phone number over social networking sites or giving out private passwords. Children are reminded of the importance of keeping a password safe and not sharing it with anyone, they are also told to be careful and think about whether the information that they are sharing is appropriate.

A child arranging to meet somebody that they have befriended on social networking sites is another common issue related to e-safety, the child often feels that they are liked or accepted by somebody, the person may show an interest in the child and this may cause them to build up a relationship with that person. This can often lead to dangerous consequences as the child may be at risk of being groomed and illegal sexual activity. This may cause the child harm and therefore it is important to stress that if a child does feel that they are in danger, they should confide in an adult.

A child who continually plays computer games can also cause serious safety issues as the child may become addicted, this may cause them harm as they may spend more time alone, leading them to be isolated and they may also not sleep properly as all they want to do is play their computer game. The child may enter a phase of darkness, a feeling of not being able to stop. In situations similar to this the child should seek support from an adult that they trust.

Posting photographs or videos online with friends in may also cause internet safety problems, the person may not want a bad photo or video of them lurking about on social media websites. This is an important issue and therefore children must always obtain permission from their friend(s) in the photo or video before posting it.

Harassment is another e-safety issue, for example if somebody kept texting or tweeting or messaging the child they would  find it annoying and may feel that they cannot get away from them. The way around this may be to talk to a trustworthy adult first or to block that person so that they can no longer contact the child.

Finally another important e-safety issue is sending inappropriate images or videos to a boyfriend/girlfriend, the child may think that the image or video is private and can only be seen by the person that they sent the image or video to. However, images can be screenshot or posted on social networking sites. The way around this situation is to never send inappropriate images or videos to anyone, however if it is too late the child could report their boyfriend/girlfriend.

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