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Digital Literacy, in particular the eSafety element, is hugely important for all young people, including students with special needs who may take information at face value. It can be broken down into a number of strands including:

1. Keeping safe - not revealing private information online; knowing how and where to report concerns; dealing with cyberbullying; and as part of a healthy lifestyle, not spending too much time playing games or online.

2. Responsible and respectful use of technology - understanding ownership of online media; respectful online behaviour, e.g. commenting on blogs.

3. Evaluating content - searching skills; understanding how the World Wide Web and search engines work; awareness that not all content is reliable; understanding what makes a good digital artefact and why we use technology for a particular purpose.


Resources and teaching ideas:

  • There are some excellent eSafety resources from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection team at www.thinkuknow.co.uk. These are aimed at different age groups and there is some SEN specific material, however you may find it difficult to find age appropriate resources for older learners with severe learning difficulties.

  • South West Grid for Learning have created a bank of useful resources for teaching about Digital Literacy here.

  • The **X-Ray Goggles** tool from Mozilla is an excellent resource to look at validity of information. More able students can change elements of web pages, for example making their own BBC news report. This can lead to a discussion about how anybody can put information onto the World Wide Web, and how to identify trustworthy sources of information. (Thanks to James Winchester for this idea).

  • Childnet and Leicester City Council created a set of materials called Childnet STAR Toolkit, to assist in educating young people with ASD in secondary schools about the internet and online dangers.