* That social networking is over-taking email and instant messaging in popularity with our students?
* That in a recent survey of the student population at Laburnum Primary School, 60% of students from Prep - Year 6 are members of at least one social network - and a large number of the remaining 40% had seen a social network and interacted with others online in some other way?
As parents and teachers we need to make sure our children understand who they are communicating with online and what privacy monitors are in place. For example, did you know that in Club Penguin and Moshi-Monsters, your child can become 'friends' with anyone and most children can work around the 'safe chat' functions (even students as young as Prep have done so!) Our students think and work quite differently to us and they learn through social interaction, both online and off: unplugging the computer isn't the solution!
What we can do is continue to talk about their online worlds with them, we can spend 20 minutes a month just watching what they do online and we can moderate what they are accessing using filters. Online social networks offer a world of learning for your child, but we wouldn't let them navigate a busy road by themselves without help and training, so we should also support them in navigating their busy cyber-worlds with the same help and training.