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How to educate children in the use of the Internet: 10 tips
by Gilbert Jefferson - Sunday, 8 November 2020, 3:29 PM
 

The Internet and the new information and communication technologies are elements that emerged recently that, however, have completely transformed society. Today most young people see almost inconceivable a a world without WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube. But although today's little ones are born in a world where these applications, social networks, and technologies are omnipresent, they are not born knowing how to use them and despite the fact that they are extremely powerful and very useful tools that facilitate life and communication, they also have their risks.

Thus, it is necessary to teach minors to use them. How to educate children on the use of the Internet so that they make good use of this resource? In this article, we propose to offer some guidelines and advice in this regard.

Digital natives

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Many of us remember a time in our lives when the Internet was a completely unfamiliar concept to most of the population and we couldn't imagine we would buy essay online. Even for those of us who were born in the 90s, when the subject was already a little more developed, it was something new and strange to which we had to adapt at the time. Other people saw it being born later in their lives, having greater difficulties in understanding its operation.

Since then, the network of networks has evolved in an incredible way, increasing its potential and allowing the emergence of multiple technologies and basic applications in our day to day. Today's children are already digital natives (a concept proposed by Prensky in 2001), born in an environment in which new technologies are already fully integrated. This fact means that there are differences with respect to past generations, even at the neurological level.

They have greater multitasking capacity, greater flexibility, and greater decision-making capacity, but at the same timeless memory capacity, less perseverance and less capacity to postpone rewards and results.

How to educate children in the use of the Internet

Networks are a powerful tool that makes it easy for us to multitask and communicate at a distance, but they also have a dark side. The fraudulent use of networks, online scams, cybercriminals, grooming, and cyberbullying are examples of this. Learning to use new technologies is essential to be able to make good use of them. And that is why below we indicate a series of tips to help educate in its use.

1. Get informed

When educating children and adolescents in the use of new technologies we have to take into account a very relevant factor: while many of us have seen the birth of the Internet as something that has happened throughout our lives, the new generations were born with them as an element present throughout the world. For them, it is something that is natural and intuitive.

2. Get updated

Technology advances very quickly, and it would be advisable for us to keep ourselves informed of the characteristics of the news and the different networks in order to be able to educate with knowledge of the facts. It is fundamentally about being up-to-date and knowing the type of digital environments they inhabit and the connections that they currently have. For example, it is not the same to regularly use places in which the very young are the majority, such as Instagram or Curiouscat.me, as it is to use internet forums on philosophy or technology.

3. Tell them about their risks

Networks are something that is taken for granted and there is generally a high perception of security around them. It is necessary to explain to minors that although they have many advantages, they also have risks, and clearly state them. It is not about the unfounded scare, but rather to show that there are significant risks.

4. Do not prohibit the use of the network

As we have mentioned previously, the use of information and communication technologies or ICT is an element present in our lives, and in the case of today's children from birth. Some people may think that banning its use may be a way to avoid potential misuse and problems. However, we are facing a practically ubiquitous tool in our day to day life and it is advisable to learn to drive quickly. Prohibiting would only make the child not have knowledge of how it works and if they were to use them they could run a much greater danger due to ignorance. We must monitor, not prohibit.

5. Generate limits and rules of use

Not prohibiting does not imply uncontrolled use of the networks by the minor. It is necessary to establish rules and hours of use, especially when children are young, in order to learn to balance the use of networks with other activities, both duties and obligations and forms of leisure.

6. Sailing together

The best way to teach is by example. Surfing the net with children and showing them different technologies, applications, games and information can be a way of making them see the wonders of technology while educating them on how to use it. In addition, it means sharing a moment with the children that can be a source of learning, fun, and strengthening of bonds.

7. The role of privacy

Although in part associated with the point of risks, this element stands out for being fundamental and one of the most consequential. Making them understand what privacy is and the importance of each of the data they publish, what should or should not be published, and the associated risks and how to protect such privacy is one of the fundamental aspects of the education and protection of minors in what referring to virtual environments.

8. Control parental

The creation of safe virtual environments are suitable for young children, in such a way that content that could be offensive or traumatic for minors is blocked.

9. Be interested

Another the aspect of great relevance is the fact that the adult, family member or caregiver in charge of the minor is interested in their activity on the network. Not invasive or demanding, but communicative and supportive. Many problems in the network are not communicated to parents due to fear or shame, when our help could contribute to solving the problems that may arise. The type of relationship that we establish with the relationship between the minor and the networks can greatly affect the level of trust and communication of problems in this area.

10. Respect their privacy

As they grow older, minors will increasingly demand greater intimacy and privacy. Checking the text messages they receive or their Facebook is not pleasant for almost any teenager and can generate the perception of mistrust towards him or her.



Picture of peter johnee1
Re: How to educate children in the use of the Internet: 10 tips
by peter johnee1 - Thursday, 11 March 2021, 8:46 PM
 


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