The Telegraph, 03.01.16, making New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful way of identifying the changes we want to see. For most young people, however, ‘resolution’ probably refers to the clarity of an online image rather than a promise to self for the coming year. says HMC Chair Mike Buchanan, Head of Ashford School.
So now seems a good time to suggest some New (Technology) Year’s resolutions to help young people have a digitally sane and safe 2017.
As parents, we all know that keeping our children safe is primarily our responsibility. Most cyber bullying takes place out of school hours and these tips are just another form of sensible guidance necessary for navigating teenage hood. However, this is new territory and schools need to work with parents to set boundaries and share expert knowledge.
At HMC, we have been working to understand more about good practice and how pupils in all types of schools are using technology. For example, in 2016 we discovered that nearly half of teenagers we polled were checking their devices multiple times overnight, leading to tiredness and lack of concentration. Especially given the increased pressures on young people – including at exam time – this is serious and needs action.
So now, at the start of 2017, here are five things parents might like to consider to help children use digital technology wisely:
1. Don't assume all use of technology is bad use of technology.
It's all too easy to assume that mobile devices are evil and should generally be avoided. This is particularly so when we read about cases of bullying that lead to suicide or despicable acts of online grooming.
However, most young people navigate the risks of the world successfully including the online world and there is much to the gained from appropriate use of technology for learning, leisure and socialising with friends across the world.