Who’s Really Worried About Internet Safety?

Last week I was party to one of those almost surreal experiences that come along every now and then. I was asked to present a session on Internet Safety for parents at one of my old schools. My session was to follow on from a presentation by the school principal on 21st century learning in relation to the school.

The event was widely promoted via the school newsletter over a number of weeks. Now parent information evenings at the school usually attract reasonable numbers of attendees so it was quite surprising that come the appointed time to start only four parents had turned up. As it turned out these four good folk were the entire audience from a school that has more than 550 pupils.

Now of course this begs the question, why so few participants for what should to all intents and purposes have been a lively topic? Was it that the parents already felt they knew enough about 21st century learning and how it applied to the school? Is internet safety a bit “too hard” as a topic? Alternatively do most parents see that internet safety is not that big an issue at this age?  Maybe it was that the parents didn’t want to hear from me? All in all, given that issues related to internet safety still feature quite regularly in the media I would have expected more participants.

I wonder what is the experience of others doing similar presentations and whether my experience was an aberration.

For those that are interested, as part of the presentation I prepared the following Slideshare presentation that I used to talk to. The presentation was also supported my updated websafety4kids wiki

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2 Responses to Who’s Really Worried About Internet Safety?

  1. John, sadly this is not an aberration. I’ve run sessions after hours that attracted more staff out of loyalty than interested parents. Then yesterday we had an open morning at my school – parents everywhere. We had a morning tea in the Gym to be followed by me doing a presentation about how technology is used for learning in our school. When it was announced that my session was starting the fifty odd parents chatting and eating a few minutes earlier rapidly dwindled down to about twenty. The ones who stayed were great and appreciated what I had to say but well, who know why the others didn’t want to stick around.

  2. johnp says:

    Hi Graham,

    There’s a double edged sword in your comment, it’s good to know that others have problems drawing an audience for these events but it’s tragic to think of the possible consequences for the families that don’t just get the need to at least be aware of the real issues as opposed to those hyped up in the media. Perhaps we should adopt this approach from a school in the US which advertised the following:

    Working Together To Keep Our Children

    Sexting and Internet Crimes against children has become an epidemic that is growing at an alarming rate. This presentation gives parents vital information to help keep their children safe from internet predators. It is a very informative presentation and a must for parents of children of all ages.

    *The information given in this presentation is very graphic with adult
    content.*

    It is recommended that students/children do not attend.

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