The statistics are staggering and fascinating (they will also change dramatically in the near future). And while it is an interesting snapshot just for conversations sake, these infographs also highlight the challenges for parents and educators.
Many of the sites mentioned in the first graph are blocked/filtered out by Departments of Education here and abroad so are not available for use in classrooms as learning tools or indeed to teach about cyber-safety issues or digital citizenship. However, the infographs make it clear that they are used prolifically in all other facets of life (work, leisure, informal study, socializing, commerce). In order to teach and empower students to make the best choices and to interact wisely when online it is imperative we as educators and parents work together. We need to:
- be familiar with the tools being used
- understand their features, benefits and issues (current and based on facts not popular media hype)
- provide opportunities to discuss issues and solutions (inside and out of school hours)
- teach/role-model secure, polite and ethical behaviour online (digital citizenship).