Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology specifically for children and young people. This year's awareness day is Tuesday 7th February 2012.
The 2012 Safer Internet Day (SID) will focus on the idea of discovering the internet with your children and will use the slogan: "Discover the digital world together... safely!" It will encourage families to work together to stay safe online.
Insafe unites national Awareness Centres in 27 countries in the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Russia. The centres comprise of organisations who work together to raise internet safety awareness at a national level. Partners include schools, libraries, youth groups and industry to promote good e-safety practices. Networking at a European level allows centres to share information, showcase successful initiatives and draw on others' experience.
Have fun online, but be sure to keep yourself and your little ones safe too.
The World Wide Web provides the most amazing reference to help our children learn about and understand the world. Going back a generation to our own childhood, you would be lucky to have an illustrated encyclopedia, suddenly we have a live reference where we can find information and pictures not only on anything in the past, but on everything new in breaking news stories.
Talk with your toddlers and preschoolers about world events that help to teach topical awareness. Talk with your children about natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding and famine. Describe how lucky for what they have and that not everyone is so fortunate. When stories of natural disasters unfold on the news, talk about the issues and show them pictures and videos on the World Wide Web. Obviously avoid showing imagery that is too distressing, and drop the topic if it begins to cause anxiety in your little ones.
You can also use the World Wide Web to augment teaching and understanding of other topics that you cover. When learning colours, look for pictures predominantly portraying each colour. When learning about animals, the sea, space, food or any other topic, find pictures online to give your little one a proper understanding. If you have a smartphone with web access, you can even find explanations and reference pictures when you're out and about and your little one asks a searching question!
Today's children are growing up in a world that we wouldn't have predicted when we were young, knowledge is available instantly and by sharing that with your children, they have the potential to learn and understand at a faster pace than has ever been possible before!
The use of the internet and computers in schools is becoming increasingly important for learning, research and having fun, but how can we ensure appropriate, and safe use of such a phenomenal resource? ICT is covered in the Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development, so it is recognised that little ones of reception or pre-school age should be introduced to the computer.
The first thing is to do is chat with your child about the internet and what it can be used for. Show them your emails, show them how to type keys and letters on screen.
Try a bit of 'art' with a drawing package, make it fun and simple.
Talk about the internet and what can be found there. Look up a favourite character together, or a local landmark you have been to or a map of your home area. Keep it simple and fun!
As they become more confident and begin to work independently, just be there to guide and help them practice their skills, learn about the keyboard and navigate the child-friendly sites that exist.
Place the computer somewhere central so you can keep an eye on how things are looking. Don't put computers in the bedroom if you can help it. Make it a family event when you do some online games or learning together as a family. Talk about what you are doing on line and make it easy for the children to flag up a problem if they encounter something.
The internet is a fabulous resource, but be aware of the potential dangers of allowing little children too much access.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has replaced the term 'IT' both in education and business and now forms an important part of preschool eduction. The world that our baby's are growing up in is undoubtedly different from the world we experienced as children. We had no email, no world wide web, no mobile telephones and computers were a rarity. It's not unusual now to find computers ten times more powerful than the ones we first knew inside our children's toys! A good understanding of ICT is essential in order for our children to progress in the 21st century.
The term ICT covers much more than IT; as well as computers it covers an understanding of ordered information, communication such as broadcast, telecoms and the internet, and input and output devices such as digital cameras, robots and music and video players.
Children are introduced to ICT in their preschool settings. They might have 'magic boards', play phones, the internet and have access to computers with integrated learning systems on them. They will be exposed to CD's and DVD's, 'QWERTY' keyboards and drawing tablets.
Outside of their preschool settings you should encourage this aspect of their learning too. If you're a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to computers then you'll have to overcome some of your fears and prejudices - ICT is an essential skill and over the next few years, your children will be introducing you to amazing things that they have learned to do with computers and other technology.
Not every aspect of ICT requires computers. Look at reinforcing ICT topics by introducing your children to analogue information - teach them about printed materials like newspapers, introduce them to maps and teach them about signs, timetables and other forms of information. Teach them about addresses and telephone numbers. The better an understanding they have of information around them, the easier they will find it to grasp more complex issues with regard to ICT later on in life.