CHAMPION COLUMN | Youth need to work on 'critical thinking'

Beth Godwin.
Beth Godwin.

February 11 has been designated World Safer Internet Day. I applaud that we are taking time to focus this topic as it does cause issues for the whole community.

Parents are constantly worried about how they can protect their children, teachers are concerned with the content and children from a very young age are bombarded and influenced by the internet and social media.

Our youth are quite vulnerable to the effects of the internet.

BETH GODWIN

Like it or not, access to the internet and social media is here to stay and is increasing changing as its reach and power grows. At a national level, the eSafety commissioner has a team of experts and useful online resources to help manage this influence. Concerns regarding unsafe content and abusive information can be reported and regulated through this authority. Our students and youth are quite vulnerable to the effects of the internet. This week our school, led by Rima Hussayni, engaged in discussions about internet safety under the guidance of their teachers.

Students were challenged to respect themselves and others on line and then report poor online behaviour just as they would with face to face behaviour. They discussed their responsibility to act safely and stay within expected ethics. Developing empathy for others and gauging your impact on other people is something that all students were asked to consider.

When confronted with negative online behaviour our youth need to build resilience and emotional strength and this created deep conversations that are of value throughout life. Finally students were asked to develop critical thinking and evaluated their online connections and communication. Should parents have concerns about online safety please have an open dialogue with your children. Engage with them about social media. Use the eSafety resources and reporting mechanisms and teach your children to think critically about online information.

BETH GODWIN

Principal, Cabramatta High