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How is Wellington College Tianjin Keeping the Children Safe in an Ever-changing Online World

By: Get News
From Mr Markovic,
Director of Educational Technology

Saying that eSafety is important seems like stating the obvious – after all, eSafety is the virtual equivalent of personal safety in everyday life. When teachers in this Tianjin International School educate their children about the dangers of the outside world and ways of avoiding these, one of the first things they teach their young ones is not to speak to strangers. He believes that it is about time they ask themselves the following question: how sure are they that their children are not engaging in the very behavior they warned them against in the virtual world?

A recent survey confirmed that a substantial number of children aged 7-11 believe that information on platforms like QQ, Weibo, TikTok, and Bilibili is correct most or all the time, they feel that there is pressure to be popular on social media and believe that social media will make them feel happy.

These are patterns that Wellington College Tianjin aims to target through education and conversations raising awareness of Digital Citizenship, including eSafety and digital health and wellbeing. As one of the best international school in Tianjin, Wellington College Tianjin continues this practice throughout the academic year with in-class activities and during dedicated themed weeks – Digital Citizenship Week (October) and Safer Internet Week (February).

It is encouraging that over two-thirds of the pupils in this Tianjin School can react proactively to adversity online by using the ‘Report’ function offered by most platforms. Certainly, this can be attributed to the fact that all their students acknowledged receiving instructions on safe internet usage either at school, from a parent, or both. Together, Wellington College Tianjin ensures they remember to Ignore-Block-Report disturbing content and suspicious individuals in the digital world. Let's briefly reflect on the question posed at the start of this article. While he wants to believe that none of their children will speak to or follow strangers in the real world, it is evident that almost a third will engage with them in online conversation. Is it possible to monitor 100% of children's time, including their online gaming? He wagers that it is not achievable. Clearly, the way forward is to continue educating children about the more and less good aspects of the Internet. The school and parents should regularly communicate with their children, and perhaps more importantly – they must listen to them, providing an opportunity for the children to share their ideas, experiences, and concerns.

This approach will enable the school and parents to protect their children in a facet of their lives where they might be most vulnerable, and one that the school and parents may not have as much insight into as desired. It is important to keep in mind that children can and will be the agents of change on the Internet in just a few years – if they are guided correctly now, it can ensure that the changes will be positive!

Safer Internet Week

This is an excellent segue into the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Week - navigating change online. At this Tianjin middle school, Safer Internet Week is an extension of Safer Internet Day, an annual event observed in February in over 170 countries worldwide. 

Created by the UK Safer Internet Centre, it represents a celebration of technology as well as a global campaign to promote young people using the Internet responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.  In conversations and activities with the pupils in all phases of the school, the teachers in this Tianjin middle school focus on change online, which includes covering topics such as young people’s perspective on new and emerging technology, potential ethical issues arising from the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the role and impact of social media influencers on children’s choices and behaviour both online and offline. 

Onward, together, to a better digital future!

Media Contact
Company Name: Wellington College International Tianjin
Contact Person: Admission Department
Email: Send Email
Phone: (+86-22) 8758-7199 ext. 6027
Address:No.1 Yide Dao, Hong Qiao District
City: Tianjin
Country: China

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