Keep­ing in­ter­net-savvy chil­dren safe on­line

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Free, un­capped, high-speed data con­nec­tions for schools bring a world of in­for­ma­tion to chil­dren, but also new threats.

The Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner has teamed up with Net­Safe and Unesco to pro­duce a new teach­ing re­source to help keep pri­mary school­child­ren safe from on­line stalk­ers, bul­lies and any­one else who might try to in­trude on their pri­vacy.

Owls is a re­source for pri­mary school­teach­ers, and can be taught as a whole pro­gramme or in­cor­po­rated mod­ule-by-mod­ule into other as­pects of the cur­ricu­lum.

As­sis­tant pri­vacy com­mis­sioner Katrine Evans said chil­dren were on the in­ter­net ‘‘big-time’’.

Owls gave them the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to go on­line and keep them­selves safe, she said.

Ms Evans said sec­ondary school stu­dents had raised the is­sue of the on­line safety of their younger sib­lings and the need for in­for­ma­tion for them.

It taught them to own their own in­for­ma­tion, to wait be­fore up­load­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and im­ages, to lock up and to put safety first.

As­so­ciate Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Min­is­ter of Youth Af­fairs Nikki Kaye launched the Owls teach­ing re­source at Tawa School last Tues­day.

Ms Kaye said the re­source had been de­vel­oped with the help of teach­ers, who had seen the need for it.

‘‘I want to specif­i­cally con­grat­u­late Tawa School and the teach­ers who were in­volved in de­vel­op­ing this re­source,’’ she said.

As high- speed broad­band reached schools, the chal­lenges it brought should not be un­der­es­ti­mated and it was an is­sue that was be­ing grap­pled with world­wide, she said.

‘‘We are do­ing some­thing that is world-leading.’’

Photo: JIM CHIPP

Cy­ber-safe: Sophie Wills, left, and Mairangi Po, 11, of Tawa School check out the Owls In­ter­net safety re­source with As­so­ciate Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Nikki Kaye.

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