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IGS Primary Digital Innovator and educator David Smith advises parents, caregivers and educators to be as well informed as possible about the latest trends in the digital world.

“We need to be ever vigilant with how our children interact online,” David said, sharing the following tips and links.

Gaming

David encourages parents, caregivers and educators to conduct further research into gaming sites and social media platforms that are easily accessible to children.

“Many gaming sites available are entirely unsuitable for Primary School children,” he said. “It is alarming how many children age 13 and younger have access to games like Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Dogs of War.”

Education, training and consulting organisation Safe on Social Media provides highly useful information on this topic to increase our understanding of the digital world.

“These games are inappropriate for kids under the age of 18, but we see this more often being used by kids under the age of 12,” Safe on Social Media Director Kirra Pendergast wrote in a recent article Use of Grand Theft Auto by Primary School Aged kids.

Social Media

Not only are gaming sites a concern, the use of social media platforms such as Snapchat pose hazards for children.

The process of Snapchat is that once a photo is taken and sent, the “snap” is only visible to the receiver for a small amount of time.

“Children use the app Snapchat as their snaps will ‘disappear’ after a small amount of time, however Snapchat can pose a risk with its location settings,” David Smith said.

Click here to read Safe on Social Media’s article on the use of Snapchat among children.

Privacy

“Posting and videoing has become the norm with teenagers,” Mr Smith said.

“I encourage all parents, caregivers and educators to read Safe on Social Media’s article Gold Coast tragedy, Filming and sharing illegal content on social media, to find out the laws and implications around filming other people.

“This article especially highlights the importance of your child’s digital footprint.”

In the article, Kirra Pendergast explains how “the internet is forever” and how “everything is able to be recorded and potentially used at a later date.”

Further information

“Please educate yourself further through The Office of the eSafety Commissioner,” Mr Smith said.

“But always, the most effective way you can enhance your child’s online experience is by talking with them about their digital world.”