Looking beyond Online Safety in the Digital Literacy Curriculum

Image of a laptop open on a table with Google Search page open

The education of online safety in schools is very high on the agenda within the new Computing curriculum, and rightfully so. It is vital that our pupils are aware of both the benefits and risks of interacting online, and understand how to become responsible digital citizens and ultimately keep themselves safe.

But Digital Literacy goes a lot further than this. Children and young people today are using the immense power of digital media to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways never before imagined.  So we’ve picked out 5 lesser-known elements of the curriculum to highlight below, full lesson plans for each of these topics can be access through SWGfL’s free Digital Literacy Curriculum:

  • Copyrights and Wrongs - pupils should be introduced to the laws of copyright, fair use, and the rights they have as creators. Should you really use that image you found in Google on your poster?
  • 'You’ve Won a Prize’ – it is important that pupils can identify email spam and the forms it takes, and adopt strategies for dealing with it.
  • How to Cite a Site - pupils reflect on the importance of citing all sources when they do research and learn how to write bibliographical citations for online sources.
  • Things for Sale – pupils can explore and examine product websites and learn methods used to promote products on these sites.
  • Identifying High-Quality Sites – pupils should understand that anyone can publish on the Web, so not all sites are equally trustworthy. Which information is correct?

Does your curriculum encompass these topics? SWGfL’s Digital Literacy Curriculum provides free schemes of learning for all year groups, from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 5. These are based on Common Sense Media’s Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum, which empowers learners to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.

The resources are available to access here: http://www.digital-literacy.org.uk

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