At last, my first blogpost thanks to everyone insisting I should do a blog. First a word about how it will be done. Since we’re the iSafeCafe, each blog comes in 5 different menu parts, aperitif, hors d’oeuvre, entree, dessert and finishing with a coffee – obviously a high-end cafe! So enjoy your first aperitif as I introduce you to the rest of today’s fayre.
iSafeCafe is about my passion for internet safety, doing my bit to help keep youngsters safe online. We are beginning to recognise the need for e-safety, but not matching it by action. Children and young people are the users but we are responsible, the parents, teachers and adults in general and it is you who are really the target group for my blog. S much of what I talk about here will be as both parent and teacher.
I spent 20 years in the classroom as a teacher at the very time when computers and internet technologies were just beginning to trend and had a front row seat on its impact on teaching, as well as on the young people themselves who use the technology. I was also lucky enough to father the two most beautiful children imaginable, my daughter Ahisha and son Sekani and for better or worse, my children grew up in the age of technology. It is therefore both as parent and teacher that I became concerned and then passionate about how youngsters interacted with internet technologies and I would like to transfer that same concern and passion to my readers. Together, let’s really begin to make a difference in the world of online safety.
For dessert, I will quickly consider the topic of responsibility. It was teaching that first taught me about the need for us as adults to commit to creating a safe environment for safeguarding those in our charge. It takes something though to trigger that concern, and certainly being in the classroom provided plenty of instances to alert me to that responsibility. But it begins offline before computers and the internet came along to stamp themselves all over our lives. For me therefore, safety is really a holistic issue – if we don’t treat safety seriously offline, how then can we begin to be safe online?
The taste of a good coffee is bitter-sweet and that is how I think we should view the ever-increasing march of electronic devices into the eager hands of our children, nowadays ever younger and younger. Those of us old enough may well remember stories of the bogey man and why we had to be in before dark, often accompanied by dad who would meet us at the playground or the street corner and escort us safely home. The playground was fun, but it had its dangers as the evening grew dark. Please be aware, the internet too has its darker side and it is our job to make it a safe playground for our children. Are we accompanying our children on that walk so that we can make this whole thing a safe journey? We really should be. In fact, we must and that is what this blog is going to be all about.