How safe is the internet?
We live in an increasingly technology-driven world, where learning is not restricted to only books and teaching institutions. All the resources one might require to acquire a new skill is available to them within a few clicks of their fingertips. The internet plays such a vital role in the development of this generation’s knowledge. But one question keeps nudging us- “How safe is the internet for the young kids who spend most of their time indulging in it?”
Answering this question might be like ripping the bandaid off of a nasty bruise. It is no secret that the internet is a vast void of information that has no protection against misuse, whether it be information that can be shared with the general public or personal information. The digital footprint of individuals can be easily rediscovered if one searches hard enough. It is also a proven fact that the internet is a very dangerous place for young people to indulge in, especially if unsupervised.
Therefore, we, the class of IBDP Yr 1, on account of World LIteracy Day, which was a CAS initiative as well, found it imperative to make aware our younger peers about cyber safety, so that they can stay safe and still have enjoyable experiences on the internet. We tackled this concept in various styles and forms through various sessions.
Addressing CAIE 1 – CAIE 3 were Ananya, Mathangi and Lakshya. This group utilized pictures, videos and colorful texts to keep the little ones interested in the concepts under E – Safety, like:
• The importance of securing personal information and not sharing it with strangers
• The ill effects of entering unauthorized links
• To maintain physical safety, as well
It was very fascinating to see them interact so enthusiastically with their seniors and try to answer the questions, thrown at them, to the best of their ability. This session was especially engaging as they were so keen on participating in the session by voicing out their opinions.
The second group, with Aditi, Rohith, Lourd and Daniel were incharge of CAIE 4 and CAIE 5. This group’s main motive was Cyber Security. They briefly addressed on guidelines to stay safe while using the internet, and delved deeper into the following topics:
• Online predators. How to spot them and further actions that must be taken.
• Fake websites and scams.
• Credit card credentials and why one should not share them.
The students were full of energy and asked a lot of questions throughout the whole session. Their interest was very apparent as they constantly gave their two cents on everything they talked about. In fact, one student voluntarily recalled his experiences with a fake website and how disappointed he was. This served as a real life example that would surely help the other students from falling prey to similar situations. They ended the session with a game of hangman to furthermore interact with the children. They utilized words that were mentioned previously in the presentation, and astonishingly, the students aced them all!
Aadila, Ashwin, Nimalan, and Nithin were in charge of CAIE 6 – CAIE 8. They came up with the idea of an engaging seminar, where they used a website called Pokémon showdown to explain various aspects of e-safety. These topics included extensive information on:
• Ad blockers
• Chat room etiquette
• Common security protocols (TLS and SSL)
• How to create strong passwords and usernames. Examples of bad ones
They also gave the middle schoolers an opportunity to apply this newly-gained knowledge through a demonstration on an online pokemon battling platform. The students were very excited about the involvement of pokémon, which improved their interaction. They volunteered with enthusiasm when questions were asked and almost all of them were very accurate with the terminologies and jargon used in the presentation, further proving how diligently they paid attention to the session.
Lastly, the entire class agreed that introducing our immediate juniors to a little bit of ICT language would benefit them, as they would have already, or would be stepping into the world of ICT. The fourth group consisting of Aditya and Harish believes that the world needs creativity, and creative people need an outlet to express themselves. Therefore, they held a session for the students of IG Year 1 and IG Year 2, teaching them the basics of the web-page programming languages HTML and CSS. This is a simple language, perfect for starters, using which, they can make any website of their choice. Due to constraints of time, they could only explore some basic tags, which will allow them to display and customize the following
Using a presentation explaining the function of the tags, along with screenshots of their own work using those tags individually they illustrated to the students how these work. At the end of the session, the students were encouraged to make their own website based on the acquired knowledge. This helped some students sort out the problems they were having with the coding. Overall, it was a receptive session wherein the younger learners showed their enthusiasm while making their own webpage.
Raahil captured this initiative through various screenshots of the proceedings and I, Shreya, volunteered to write a blog to record this occasion and put it down in the history of CPS Global School.
Through this CAS initiative, we, as a class, have had a wonderful learning experience. The importance of teamwork and collaboration, how to handle unexpected situations while addressing a crowd, and to always take test runs before the actual presentation to avoid mistakes were a few amongst many.
Truth be told, we were hesitant on pouring so much information to the younger ones, but to our surprise, they were very quick in absorbing all that was told to them. Regardless, all the material used during the sessions was shared with them later on, so they can always have this information ready at their disposal. The entire experience was very fun and exciting for all of us. I am sure my classmates would agree when I say that we are very grateful for the opportunity and, through this venture, we could part a little knowledge to our younger peers.
We hope the students will put what they learnt, and stay vigilant while using the internet.
Shreya Ananda Thirtha