The Child Online Protection Initiative

Education is changing for the better. the modern curriculum was designed to be broad and enriching, it can also be rather demanding. The latest advances in technology can and do offer teachers and pupils access to a wealth of information. The internet provides us with learning tools never before available in our classrooms and it is unquestionable that ICT resources should enrich education, as they do in most aspects of modern society.

While we may not have the spare time to give it consideration, we have lived through a technological revolution.

We have grown to accept and to maybe even be a little blasé, about our mobile phones, our chip and pin credit cards our cars that can remotely lock and unlock at the squeeze of a button.

While modern technology does occasionally prove itself to be monumentally annoying, I find it frequently inspires in me a very genuine awe. Technological advances in the fields of medical and criminal practice that were unimaginable a handful of years ago, now frequently save lives and prevents some of the worst crimes imaginable.

We have lived through this technological revolution. Yet our children and young people have never known a world in which modern technology does not exist.

One of the reasons The COP Initiative exists is that every year, new research shows greater numbers of our children spending increasing hours of their days using computer technology to play, learn, socialise and to create a place for themselves in the modern world.

When I’m not wishing that they would just spend a little more time getting some fresh air and talking to people in the ‘real world’, I do see that this is really quite exciting.

The youth of today will lead this revolution onwards and our current greatest technology will rapidly join the car phone, our VHS videos, our music cassettes, as they are ousted by ever more complex developments.

Technology is moving faster than ever before and for young people in Britain the latest trends move even faster.

90 per cent of British school age children have talked to strangers online.

70 per cent of children who go online give out their personal details, usually their name, their location, their school or their phone number.

91 per cent of British school children personally know someone who has been the victim of cyberbullying.

The numbers of suicides connected to cyberbullying and the number of child abuse cases involving the internet, increase every year. This is a very worrying fact of our digital lives and The COP Initiative serves to educate young people on the serious nature of cyber bullying

Amidst the excitement of the internet, it is vital that we consider how to safeguard and protect children from the dangers of a technology that constantly changes and expands.

While young children need well-constructed boundaries, it is vital that older pupils learn how to use ICT in a way that allows them to develop safe and responsible practices on the internet and to develop skills that will support them and enhance their lives as they become young adults.

The promotion of e-safety is now required within the ICT and is the sole purpose of The COP Initiative. However teaching children and young adults to use the internet safely is a challenge. And The COP Initiative must continue to adapt to meet the needs of young people in what is a constantly evolving technological landscape.

The number of child victims of Internet Crime rise every year.

The number of young people who suffer emotionally or mentally from viewing inappropriate content, from self-posted images and from cyberbullying rise every year.

The statistics speak for themselves. The internet is a difficult place to police. It is our modern frontier territory, where people are allowed a greater freedom and regardless of the advances in modern technology it is important that through projects like The COP Initiative we continue to teach young people how to use their own common sense, how do deal sensibly with the freedom the internet provides and what to do when they come across people, whether they are strangers or peers, who are using this technology in an inappropriate manner.

We at The COP Initiative want to ensure that every young person in the country who has potential access to the internet has been educated in the basics of e-safety.

The COP Initiative handbook – Kidzsafe is distributed free of charge to schools throughout the UK and this years edition will be available for download in PDF format at the start of the next academic year

In 2013 we delivered The COP Initiative handbook to just under 4000 schools and academic institutions, the handbook featured worksheets for students to work through at home with their parents to help inspire dialogue on the subject of Child online protection and e-safety.

We at The COP Initiative continue to strive to provide useful child online protection resources and we love feedback so please feel free to contact us via the contact form.

One thought on “The Child Online Protection Initiative

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