With the internet and apps evolving every week, it can be easy to feel like technology is moving too fast for us, however it doesn’t change the fact that young people will always seek to interact with technology and will always require support and advice when online.
Did you know?
The recent release on WhatsApp includes a new live location sharing feature, that allows users to share their location with friends they are chatting to. The feature, which you can opt-in to from any chat, allows others to view your exact location for fifteen minutes, an hour, or eight hours at a time. Although it is end to end encrypted, the concern will arise when a child who has been groomed shares their location with the person grooming them. There is no evidence that this has occurred.
One app, called Lycos Chat is advertised as a fun, free chat room. It has a community with more that 600000 members. It offers multi-room, public, private and photo chatting. Guidelines say that you have to be 16 to use the site. Intelligence from local police suggest that within an hour of a 13 year old girl using the chat site, she had been approached by 19 supposed adult users requesting private chat and two of these made overtly sexualised comments. The 13 year old’s profile strongly suggested that she was 13.
Many of your children will have a PS4 and the new app allows players to take their PlayStation experience with them on their mobile device. It allows them to be connected to their gaming friends, to see what kind of games they like to play, for instance. It also has an integrated chat feature which allows users to receive game alerts, notifications and to be constantly in touch with the PlayStation universe. Here’s a shocking incident for you: recently a 7, yes, 7 year old mentioned to his mum that he had been playing on his PS4 during which he’d added a friend from the PlayStation network. He was then using the app to chat with friends when the new friend began having sexually explicit conversations and asked him to come to their private chat room.
All of these incidents are true events. This is happening folks and it is happening here in Devon. PLEASE be aware of what your child is doing online. Keep talking to them and check the websites below for more information and guidance.
ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the every day lives of children, young people and adults. Consequently, schools need to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our children with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) covers a wide range of resources including; web-based and mobile learning. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole. Currently the internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
- Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments
- Email and Instant Messaging
- Chat Rooms and Social Networking
- Blogs and Wikis
- Video Broadcasting
- Music Downloading
- Mobile/Smart phones with text, video and/or web functionality
- Other mobile devices with web functionality
Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much ICT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed. All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these Internet technologies.
At Tidcombe Primary School we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils in e-Safety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom.
Our E-Safety policy is inclusive of both fixed and mobile internet; technologies provided by the school; (such as PCs, laptops, webcams, whiteboards, digital video equipment, etc); and technologies owned by pupils and staff, but brought onto school premises (such as laptops, mobiles phones, camera phones and portable media players, etc).