Using ICT at Home

ICT is not just about using a computer. It also includes the use of controllable toys, digital cameras and everyday equipment such as a tape recorder or DVD player. Children can be helped to develop their ICT skills at home by: 

  • Writing a letter to a relative 
  • Sending an email to a friend 
  • drawing a picture on screen 
  • Using the internet to research a class topic 
  • Planning a route with a controllable toy 
  • Using interactive games

Benefits of using ICT at home

How we know that using ICT at home can help

Many studies have looked at the benefits of having access to a computer and/or the Internet at home. Here are some of the key findings:

  • used effectively, ICT can improve children’s achievement
  • using ICT at home and at school develops skills for life
  • children with supportive and involved parents and carers do better at school
  • children enjoy using ICT
  • using ICT provides access to a wider and more flexible range of learning materials

How does learning at home using ICT benefit children?

Home use of ICT by children:

  • improves their ICT skills
  • offers them choice in what they learn and how they learn it
  • supports homework and revision
  •  improves the presentation of their work
  • connects learning at school with learning at home
  • makes learning more fun.
  • All this can lead to better performance at school

Using the Internet safely at home

Whilst many Internet Service Providers offer filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable texts, pictures and movies. Parents are advised to set the security levels within Internet Explorer with this in mind. Locating the computer in a family area, not a bedroom, will enable you to supervise children as they use the Internet. However, don’t deny your child the opportunity to learn from the wide variety of material and games available on the Internet. Instead set some simple rules for keeping them safe and make sure they understand their importance.

Simple rules for keeping your child safe

To keep your child safe they should:

  • ask permission before using the Internet
  • only use websites you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine
  • only email people they know, (why not consider setting up an address book?)
  • ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don’t know
  • not use Internet chat rooms
  • not use their real name when using games on the Internet, (create a nickname)
  • never give out a home address, phone or mobile number
  • never tell someone they don’t know where they go to school
  • never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet
  • only ever use a webcam with people they know
  • tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with

When searching the Internet with children, use one of the following child friendly search engines:

Ask Jeeves for kids: www.askforkids.com

Yahooligans: www.yahooligans.com

CBBC Search: www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/search

Kidsclick: www.kidsclick.org

Zoo Search: www.zoo.com

Using these rules

Go through these rules with your child and pin them up near to the computer. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access away from them.

Useful e-safety advice for parents:

http://www.parentscentre.gov.uk/usingcomputersandtheinternet/

http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/

http://www.internetsafetyzone.co.uk/

http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk

http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/

http://www.getsafeonline.org/

http://www.chatdanger.com/