Education, Expert Insights

“You Don’t Understand!” – Digital Wellbeing Expert, Emi Howe Shares A New Programme That Can Help Keep Our Children Safe Online

2 min read

And we don’t… understand the online experience our children are having. How could we? It isn’t ours, or close to it.

The gap in our kid’s learning, that galloping technology has created, is widening.

There is a generational lag in what kids do online and our response from an educational standpoint.

Digital Learning

In the UK this ‘digital learning’ has been statutory for six years but the response from teachers and parents shows there hasn’t been a mindset. Meanwhile, the evidence of time-online-gone-bad, for our young people, especially those in their early teens, continues to hit the news. But that can change, Real Talk’s Digital Wellbeing Expert – Emi Howe – has identified those gaps – for kids and their adults too – and developed the Screen Skills Programme for 7-11-year-olds.

She says: “We give kids phones with often little explanation as to the wonky world that lives in them. We wouldn’t do that with other, much less complex activities say, visiting a park for the first time or riding a bike

The programme walks the learner through: understanding the real/online divide; social media exaggeration; finding satisfaction and appreciation for real-world experiences; acknowledging the wider forces at play, for example, their role as consumers and subjects close to their hearts: gaming, streaks, cyber friendships…

These skills need to muscle into the sphere of functional skills, not just as an optional extra. For our kids they are THE most important skills they learn in their formative years. We are stuck in a system that no longer satisfies today’s needs. We didn’t cause this but I want to empower us to rectify it using practical steps. I don’t want to do nothing anymore.”

Planning ahead

Alongside the programme is support book Don’t Go Knocking at the Circus Door, and age-appropriate resources, that can be used to introduce these topics as early as KS1, creating primary school learners equipped with skills to protect their mental health and offset potential damage.

Also included – monthly Zoom support for teachers and parents, equipping us adults with insights we haven’t picked up elsewhere. With answers at the ready when kids say…

Why do I need to get off my phone?

Why are people different online?

You don’t get it.

Ofsted says: “It’s a great resource to help colleagues deliver the statutory PSHE aspect of online experience, safety and relationships.”

Teacher and PSHE Lead: “The children loved the content and found it so relevant to their lives.”

The world has changed so much, if we have little in the way of guidance and advice for kids, parents or teachers, we risk becoming part of the problem. Emi is incredibly passionate about changing that.

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Emi Howe is an Award-Winning Author, TedX Speaker and Digital Wellbeing Expert