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Waikato University Acts To Protect Children

Waikato University Acts To Protect Children And Young People

Waikato University is organizing seminars aimed at helping schools in the region better protect children and young people from the potential risks of the Internet and mobile phones.

The university’s centre for continuing education says keeping youngsters safe in cyberspace is an ongoing concern.

“The possibility of children accessing pornography and other inappropriate or illegal material on the Internet at home or school is always a worry for teachers and parents, while there have been many high-profile cases of children meeting adults they’ve contacted through chat rooms,” says the centre’s director Lorraine Webber.

“So we’ve organized two seminars, primarily aimed at schools and education professionals as well as parents and caregivers. We’ll give giving people good information about what they can do to protect children and young people.”

Examples of good practice include: Helping children and young people develop good critical thinking skills when surfing the Net. Installing electronic security, which can include a firewall, filtering, monitoring and anti-virus protection. Parents and schools working together to create a ‘cybersafety’ culture for children.

“We expect many schools and parents will already be Internet safety aware but we hope to add value by exploring ways parents and schools can work together on the broader issue of safety with the Internet and with mobile phones,” says Lorraine Webber.

Both seminars will be addressed by Liz Butterfield, director of the Auckland-based Internet Safety Group.

The first seminar entitled Keeping Children and Young People Safe In Cyberspace is on Wednesday 27th August from 7pm-8.30pm. The second, Creating a Cybersafe Learning Environment is on Thursday 28th August from 9.30am-11.00am. Both seminars will be in room S1.01 of the S Block on the university’s Hamilton campus. There is a $20 fee for each seminar.

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