As a Mum of four I worry a lot about raising a family in a world where we are surrounded by modern technology. Although parenting is hard at the best of times, it can be even harder when there are risks lurking in places we may never even consider to look. At four, five, seven and fourteen, my children are already familiar with the internet, although the youngest three do not have unsupervised access, and I know over time this is something which will become increasingly prevalent in their lives. And I won’t lie to you, that thought terrifies me!
For that reason I have partnered with Plusnet and Internet Matters to help educate families on the importance of keeping children safe online. As a national communications provider and well known brand, Plusnet is the perfect advocate for a campaign such as this to make sure that that all customers are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to stay safe online.
For those who aren’t familiar with Plusnet, they started out in 1997 with a simple plan – to think and act differently from other communications providers and save consumers and businesses money. Over 20 years later they are still providing great value phone, broadband and mobile services nationwide, from their HQ in Yorkshire.
Together with Internet Matters, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to keep children safe in the digital world, they work together with leading child online safety experts to offer the best advice and information available in tackling online safety issues. In short, this pairing is paving the way for necessary conversations for both adults and children regarding internet safety and I for one am all for that.
This year Plusnet and Internet Matters have worked with former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq to create a series of three short plays addressing the key online issues faced by children today. Well written, completely relatable, and appealing to both adults and children, each of the three plays focus on one key issue per age range with the guidance of Internet Matters – online grooming, cyberbullying and online reputation.
Plusnet today launches a trilogy of plays to educate children on the importance of online safety in partnership with Internet Matters and presenter Konnie Huq. Following a one-off performance at Chickenshed on Monday (29th April); the scrips are now available to download from the Plusnet website.
I love that the plays are then to be performed by children in a one-off performance at the inclusive youth theatre specialists Chickenshed, and the scrips then uploaded to the Plusnet and Internet Matters websites to be downloaded by parents, carer, schools, and youth centres across the UK.The plays have fantastic, catchy, and relevant songs within the scripts, sending out such important messages whilst being fun to perform. I found myself nodding along as I read through the scripts and really relating with modern day situations, sayings, and characters. I can imagine schools and other organisations really embracing these plays and using them for class performances and spreading the word to their audience.
The great thing about the plays is that they open up conversations between adults and children which can lead to necessary discussions on staying safe online. Having an honest and open relationship with your child is paramount, I know I worry a lot about Lewis at fifteen and what he is exposed to online, but hopefully with us having regular conversations regarding this he will always come to me if there is something he is uncomfortable or unfamiliar with.
I also think this is such a genius idea in that not only does it get across an important message regarding online safety, but it encourages a love of drama and in turn gives children an alternative hobby to screen time. I would much prefer for my children to be engaging in drama, singing and dancing, as opposed to sitting at home staring at their tablets or watching the television.
For more information about ‘Plusnet Plays on the Internet’ or to download the scripts please visit Plus.net/PlaysontheInternet.
** This is a collaborative post with Internet Matters **