Navigating online – skills our kids need

Mar 10, 2017 Categories: Changing_Times

I’ve been thinking a lot about holidays this week – partly because we are now (in Australia) well into Term 1 of the school year, but also because I use a holiday analogy when I work with parents and teachers.

The online world is like a new country. And we wouldn’t send our kids off to, say, Paris if they didn’t speak the language, know how to ask for help, understand customs and the culture or even how to navigate their way around.

Why is it that sometimes parents do exactly that with the online ‘world’?

I think we need to recognise that the virtual, online world is full of people who together have developed different cultures, language and process.

Perhaps it’s because we can see our kids working online from the kitchen or family (hopefully not in the bedroom! Maybe we think they are safe and can’t come to any harm.

Of course, we don’t always know everything that goes on in their virtual spaces. We can ask questions, we can offer support but we need them to be prepared to manage situations themselves.

So I talk a lot about preparing kids to work online as if we were sending them off to a foreign land, inlcuding the way to behave, the way to talk and interact and to understand that things are done differently…and then I get to thinking about holidays!

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