There is no doubt that the best way to engage with young people about online safety is to simply go and talk to them. However depending on the age range the approach needs to be very different. Although obviously you can discuss with children the issues about internet safety at any age, in reality faced with classes of 30 children or so the successful approach works very different.
Younger children need to be engaged in a different way, it’s difficult to just talk in front of a class and keep their interest without some sort of presentation materials. Internet safety can be quite a dry subject without some sort of materials to put the lessons into context. Fortunately it’s also quite simple to prepare materials which will demonstrate the lessons needed, especially if the children have internet access during the presentation.
In most situations however you won’t be so luck so it’s essential to come prepared with materials that can be used in any classroom environment. Most schools have projectors available so using a laptop you can bring the world of multimedia into the class fairly easily. One perfect way for running the lesson is to use presentation software to create something cheerful and simple as a backdrop to the lesson.
This online slideshow software is perfect for creating such a presentation, and it’s available as a free trial as well.
It’s a simple premise but what you have to do is to take your existing presentation script and copy it into the slideshow creator software. You can then either add music or create a voice over to each slide. Not everyone wishes to use the software for presenting their voice but it does have some advantages. For a start it frees up the presenter from learning and memorising a script, the presentation can be played and points highlighted individually.
You can even just narrate specific parts of the presentation, then pause the show for practical demonstrations or workshop sessions. Using a slideshow can help keep the structure of the presentation and enable key points to be raised. The younger children often engage more with a formal structure and the intermissions can be used for more active parts of the presentation.
An additional point which might be of use is to stream in examples of situations from online media if possible, I’ve used a fast UK VPN for example to stream content from the BBC’s useful online safety site including some excellent videos.