Keeping internet-savvy children safe online
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.’’
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.