Childnet and Cisco Systems Teach Primary School Children to Use the Internet Safely
Successful Pilot Completed in Primary Schools Across Tower Hamlets.
LONDON, UK, January 30, 2005 - Childnet International, the children’s internet charity and Cisco Systems have successfully completed the pilot phase of their “Kidsmart” volunteering project, designed to help pupils in primary schools use the Internet safely. Childnet International employees and volunteers from Cisco Systems worked in partnership to teach over 1,000 pupils, across nine primary schools in the Tower Hamlets region of London.
“Young people’s desire to use online applications coupled with the increasing accessibility to such a tool means educating children about the positive and negative aspects of the Internet is extremely important,” commented Nicola Sanders, Project Co-ordinator at Childnet. “This pilot volunteering programme between Cisco Systems and Childnet has been a really positive collaboration, enabling Childnet to further its reach into more primary schools in and around London. The presentation encourages children to think critically about their online behaviour and prepare strategies in order to make responsible judgements, when faced with decisions about both their own safety online and the security of their computer.”
The sessions developed by Childnet brought together Kidsmart (www.kidsmart.org.uk), one of Childnet’s key awareness and advice initiatives, and the BBC’s Stay Safe initiative (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/help/safesurfing) to create a compelling and high impact presentation that would:
* Help pupils identify positive ways of using the Internet (creating visual and audio materials, games, music, discovering information, chatting, homework etc)
* Help pupils identify negative features surrounding use of the Internet (illegal downloading of material, viruses, file sharing, inappropriate content, inappropriate contact, etc)
* Help pupils to learn and use the SMART rules to increase their safety online
* Encourage children to use the Internet and online applications such as peer to peer (file-sharing) and Instant Messaging (IM) responsibly
* Encourage pupils to discuss strategies to avoid the potential risks they face using the Internet
“The presentation was very good - well paced, interactive and relevant,” commented Tim Clarke, teacher at Globe Primary. “The children really enjoyed the presentation. I would happily endorse the presentations to other schools.”
Technology is now believed to be the key enabler for improving education. By breaking down the barriers between schools, home and the community, broadband allows pupils to learn what they want, how they want, wherever they want, and engage their parents and community in the learning process.
“The Internet is an engaging tool for children and has rapidly become a key medium for learning in schools and homes by making education a fun and interactive process,” commented Paul King, Senior Security Advisor at Cisco Systems. “We feel passionately about making sure that children can use the Internet safely and we are pleased to support the work being done by Childnet. We hope that more companies will consider working with Childnet to roll-out this programme throughout the UK.”
Following the success of the pilot phase of the project, Childnet and Cisco Systems are planning to recruit additional volunteers to help expand the project to cover secondary as well as primary school children for schools in other London boroughs in the second phase of the project which starts in April 2006.
About Childnet International
Childnet International is a registered charity, (no 1080173) set up in 1995 - with the mission to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. The organisation seeks to take a balanced view of the issues of children and the Internet and is active in seeking to promote the positive ways in which the Internet can be used by children for social benefit. For example see www.childnetacademy.org. Childnet is also involved in responding to the negative aspects of children’s use of new media and has been involved in developing award-winning education and awareness programmes such as its www.kidsmart.org.uk for schools. For full information about the charity see www.childnet-int.org
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