The power of email
Sending emails is something we all do in our day-to-day lives and we no longer even really think about how incredible it is that you can write something in an email, hit send and just a few seconds later the recipient, who can be anywhere in the world, can be reading what you have written!
How can we teach children to communicate safely online?
It is therefore essential that we teach children how to safely use this method of online communication as they too, will one day be using email to communicate with friends, family, colleagues and occasionally people they have never even met! It is vital that they learn that what and how you might write to a family member or close friend is completely different to how you need to communicate with a colleague or someone you do not know.
Supporting children to become digitally literate
DB Primary’s email system supports pupils in becoming digitally literate within a safe and secure environment. Safemail is turned on as default on all pupil accounts to ensure that pupils can only communicate with other internal users whom they share community membership with. All pupil email is fully integrated with the DB profanity filter and reporting features.
Before getting started with letting the children in your class send emails to each other it is important to establish the expectations for this method of communication. Talk to your class and come up with a shared set of rules for the type of language which is acceptable to use. Highlight the importance of reading an email back to themselves before hitting the send button because once that email has gone they cannot change it! Discuss the benefits of having someone read over an email before they send it just in case anything could be misinterpreted!
It is a good idea to show the children in your class that you can see emails they have sent (even ones they have deleted) by using the Email Monitor feature. This helps children to really understand what is meant by leaving a digital footprint- nothing online is ever truly deleted!
Set tasks around email
Once the children understand your expectations for how they should be using the email feature you can start setting some tasks to help them become familiar with how DB Primary’s email system works.
Some task ideas to get you started:
1) Send a simple ‘online letter’ to a member of the class community.
2) Compose a more formal email making a request to the Headteacher.
3) Compose and send a complaint email to express concern or dissatisfaction about something.
4) Send and receive emails as and from characters (e.g. from a fairy tale, fictional story or history).
5) Send the children in your class an email which needs a response.
Want more inspiration?
If you would like to know more about how you could use DB Primary to inspire Digital Citizenship in your school. Get in touch.