Festival of Education – Netsafe

Today I found myself at the Wellington Festival of Education, Hekia Parata’s celebration of education in New Zealand and a stomach cramp inducing celebration of herself. Huge number of stalls and presentations promoting innovation, collaboration and cohesion.  I ended up at a Netsafe presentation, and while the argument was nothing new – the points were very interesting.

  • Often the go to response for adults is to protect the young people from the internet, but all we do is push the behavior out of our sight.
  • Positive spin on the internet- so many opportunities online: we learn, publish our own content, consume media.

  • Yet the image of the Internet so often held up is that of being a dangerous and sinister place. (i.e. above). A negative view of the internet is often seen in the media. A simplistic view is dominate; opportunity is usually spun by the media online.
  • It is complex situation, and adults see things very differently from young people. Most of the time the kids are sorting out the problems completely on their own and increasingly they (and we) are struggling to realize what is real and what is not. The Internet is life amplified. Often it is not real.
  • Moral panic is one unhelpful way of dealing with it. Nature will find a way. Part of our human experience. We constantly ask how can I achieve the result that I want?
  • Strikingly, 39 percent teens say they are monitored closely by their parents; 84% parents say they closely monitor their children. (45% gap in perceptions!)

The conclusion was that we need to manage the system from restricted to open and help students to manage risk. From a young age that are closely monitored. At University they are adults with open access. The route between these two needs to be navigated with care. HOW is the big question, and it wasn’t touched on in this particular presentation.

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