Teaching children to use tech responsibly
The current generation of school children are the most technologically adept in the history of mankind. By the time they reach High School, they have built up a familiarity with and understanding of technology that far outstrips that of previous generations.
And technology is starting to influence the way in which they learn in school. Through various web-enabled devices, the internet has developed into a participatory culture when it comes to education, with schools using a variety of techniques to make the most of technology.
The rise of technology in educational establishments also places a responsibility on educators and parents to ensure that our children understand how to use it responsibility. Digital learning is a lifelong project and the extent to which today’s children interact with technology is only likely to deepen, so for their present and future benefit, it is vital they gain an understanding of the risks involved and of the need for an ethical approach.
The importance of teaching children responsible and safe technology use is now understood at all levels of the educational system. There is an international school for Americans in Hong Kong that has a very strong technology program which is helping children to make the most of the possibilities offered by technology. This program is designed to teach pupils how to use technology in such a way that they keep themselves safe and don’t harm others.
One of the most obvious requirements is to teach children about the importance of security. As the world becomes more connected, the threat posed by hackers, malware and computer viruses are becoming more complex and ever more serious. School technology lessons are a good environment in which to teach children how to keep their personal data safe and to avoid threats from the internet.
It is also important to teach children appropriate techniques for research. The internet is a storehouse of knowledge, but there is much that can be harmful out there and children need to be taught how to spot harmful sites and potentially dangerous internet resources that provide misleading or incorrect information. Teaching children to critically evaluate internet sites is a vital part of technology-based education.
Cyberbullying is another potential problem associated with the internet, and it is easy for children to approach technology without considering the real-life consequences of how they use it. It is possible to cause immense harm and suffering to others with just a few clicks. By instilling an understanding of the ethics associated with the use of technology and of our responsibility to others in our children, we can help them become more responsible technology users.
There is no doubt that technology is already playing a vital role in education and in our economy, so it is incredibly important that educators, parents and others take the time and the effort to instill the importance of safe and responsible behavior in our children, to ensure their interaction with technology is a positive and enriching experience.