With the sheer volume of sites and apps to monitor within the school environment, some institutions feel their students will be better protected if they remove all access to any site or app that isn’t related to learning.
However, this is a mistake. If a school simply blocks everything, we tend to find that because students aren’t learning within a controlled environment about what is and isn’t acceptable online, they don’t understand the risks or the consequences when they go home and start using their iPhone or iPad.
Students will always find a way to see content, so rather than prohibiting these sites, we need to educate them on what’s appropriate and what’s not, so that they’re empowered to make informed decisions for themselves.
They also need to be aware that if they do get into a situation, there’s someone within the school they can approach for help.
Despite the seemingly endless list of negative issues schools must navigate as a result of social media and the wider internet, we know it can be an amazingly positive place and can create opportunities which can change students’ lives.
But there are associated risks, and there has to be a balance. It’s not about scaring people away from using the internet; it’s about empowering them to understand those risks and be able to reduce them.
For more advice, insights and tips, visit www.rm.com/e-safety