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Research Question Please Help!


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Hi :D

My name is andrea, I am a 4th year BEd student @ liverpool hope and am currently doing research for my dissertation on using the internet safely and appropriately with early years children. if you have any ideas or strategies or an opinon on whether or not the internet is suitable for young children your response will be much appreciated.




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Hi Andrea -

I replied to your original version of this question in your introduction, but since more people may see this one than the introduction it might be an idea to duplicate it here :) :


I'm certainly no expert in the field, but if I kick off with a few fairly obvious observations, perhaps others can correct or expand them?


First, there are the obvious safeguards to internet access with children. Number one of course is to ensure they have supervision. This shouldn't necessarily mean watching over everything they do, but it would mean being aware of what they are trying to do and the tools they have to do it. Your personal supervision can of course be supplemented by the standard software which acts as a gatekeeper, forbidding access to unsuitable sites (eg NetNanny) - these can be overly restrictive, or not reliable enough, depending on how they have been set up.


Secondly, when we talk about early years access, we are for the most part talking about very young children, of course, who do not read or write well or at all. In this event, it is highly unlikely that they will be seeking out new sites or resources for themselves anyway. It is far more likely that they will be making use of a site that will have been accessed for them by a supervisor. There are many sites set up for young children on the internet, some more suitable than others - a couple of examples of subscription based access sites are the mouseclub site, and the Big Bus site.


And lastly, if the setting has easy and regular access to the internet there are a couple of other ways it might be possible to use the technology other than surfing. Setting up a 'penpal' link with another class or pre-school, where emails can be swapped back and forth (with help obviously from the supervisors), photo's exchanged and so on? We have long had the ambition to do this in our setting, but have yet to put it into practice.


Hope this helps as the basis of further discussion, if in no other way!

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Hi Andrea


I sometimes search things on the net with a small group of children in the pre-school setting where I work. I tend to stick to sites I trust such as the BBC education sites (www.bbc.co.uk/schools) and for history and science www.heinemannexplore.com is good although you need to be a member for that one.


Fortunately as Steve points out my little ones can't read or write and so I am able to control what images are put up on the screen. If they were older it would worry me as it does when my own older children use the net at home.


In the words of Prof Moody (Harry Potter) "Constant Vigilance" seems my only suggestion.


Sorry I can't help more!



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