Using ICT and the internet at home

Many studies have looked at the benefits of having access to a computer and/or the Internet at home.  Here are some of the key findings:
  • used effectively, ICT can improve children's achievement
  •    using ICT at home and at school develops skills for life
  • children enjoy using ICT
  • using ICT provides access to a wider and more flexible range of learning materials

Learning at home with ICT benefits children

Home use of ICT by children:
  • improves their ICT skills
  • offers them choice in what they learn and how they learn it
  • supports homework and revision
  • improves the presentation of their work
  • connects learning at school with learning at home
  • makes learning more fun
All this can lead to better performance at school and an improved standard of work.

Using the Internet safely at home

Whilst many Internet Service Providers offer filtering systems and tools to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable text, pictures and movies. Parents are advised to set the security levels within Internet Explorer or other browsers with this in mind.
Locating the computer in a family area where possible, not a bedroom, will enable you to supervise your son or daughter as they use the Internet. Also consider mobile phones and games consoles and other devices that can access the internet.
However, don't deny them the opportunity to learn from and enjoy the wide variety of material and games available on the Internet. Instead discuss with them some simple rules for keeping safe online and making sure they understand their importance.

Simple rules for keeping your child safe

To keep your child safe they should:
  • ask permission before using the Internet and discuss what websites they are using
  • only use websites you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine
  • only email people they know, (why not consider setting up an address book?)
  • ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don't know
  • not use their real name when using games or websites on the internet, (create a nickname)
  • never give out any personal information about themselves, friends or family online including home address, phone or mobile number
  • never arrange to meet someone they have 'met' on the Internet without talking to an adult first; always take an adult and meet in a public place
  • never tell someone they don't know where they go to school or post any pictures of themselves in school uniform
  • only use a webcam with people they know
  • tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.

See links below for some helpful websites for advice and information on internet safety for your child.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

BBC Internet Safety Advice

Think U Know

E-bullying Advice

Internet Safety