Last week, in preparation for a first year digital safety student workshop, I had an opportunity to speak to the school's student council. One of the questions I asked them was: "If you could travel back in time to when you first started using social media and digital devices, would you do anything differently? - I was quite surprised by their answers...
I had wrongly assumed that they were probably quite happy about their social media use and general online experiences.
To my surprise they would do quite a few things differently. Here are the top 3:
1. Better privacy: pretty much unanimously they would have had their privacy settings set up to be much more private from the outset. They also expressed quite strongly that they believe younger secondary school students and late primary schools kids share way too much personal stuff, including images and videos of themselves.
2. Keep it to real friends: Most would not worry so much about how many "friends" and followers they have. As one of them put it: "I know some younger students who have hundreds of "friends" and followers. They can't possibly know them all, so there must be strangers among them - and then they share their personal stuff with them!".
3. Less (or more productive) screen time: They would all spend less time on their devices, do more offline stuff and/or studying or switch to do more productive things online. They also expressed a strong interest in being exposed to new and creative as well as productive ways of using digital media to further their skill sets, education and later their careers.
This information, together with the positive feedback we have received from the first few pupil/student workshops over the past months, drove our decision to increase the focus on enabling children themselves to improve their digital safety and privacy, as well as empowering them to use this technology in new, positive and creative ways.
Shortly we will begin developing a section of the website dedicated to kids' "how to" tutorials, info videos and ideas for positive use of technology - as well as continuing our focus on the "smart digital kids" pupil/student workshops in schools. We will, of course, let you know as soon as the content is launched. If you have any specific queries or suggestions then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
In the meantime, you can use the link below to learn how to implement privacy settings:
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