The fact that our children are online comes as no surprise. In fact, most of us are grateful for instructional YouTube videos, learning programmes in school and the occasional social media break.
When we look at how to behave and interact online – and how to teach those topics it’s even more important that we give children access to the online tools needed and let them explore in moderated, secure environments with appropriate adult intervention. Time in school can be made more engaging and appeal to different learning styles, whilst children not only learn how to ‘play nice’ but also how to collaborate, and respect different opinions.
But what about the parts of the online world that are perhaps difficult for us to understand?
Most of us have noticed that if we spend ten minutes searching for shoes online, we will get bombarded with shoe adverts for the next few weeks. We have somehow just accepted that our data is being collected and used, but perhaps not fully how… And what about our children’s data?
A report done by the Digital Futures Commission (DFC) warns that some educational technologies are putting children at risk of commercial exploitation. Meaning that their data too will be collected, sold and used for profit. It does not have to be a bad thing, but we have to be aware of it. And what you will see in your child’s phone or tablet is adverts for games similar to the ones they are already enjoying, but perhaps, the recommended games cost money. You can decide if you want to buy games for your own phone – but your child should perhaps not have that freedom? It’s good to know as a parent or teacher that platforms using children’s data like this would likely be non-compliant and a contravention of the age-appropriate code.
At New Era Technology we sell an online learning platform directed toward students and their teachers, but we fully support the age-appropriate design code and use no third parties to fund our product. The subscription paid by schools guarantees the security and safekeeping of any data processed.
Much needed fun and knowledge can come from online platforms as they help better prepare young students for a world that is quickly functioning more and more online – but there is research to be done when deciding on the best option for your school and what’s important to parents and students around you. The security of data and the absence of profiling should be at the heart of decisions made on behalf of children.
New Era Technology is committed to safeguarding children’s data and are signatories to the 5Rights Coalition.