Pupils need internet lessons to thrive online, say Lords

The BBC reports that a House of Lords report says learning to survive in a world dominated by the internet should be as important for children as reading and writing.

Children also need to be aware of the dangers of fake news and covert advertising online, he added.

The report argues that “digital literacy should be the fourth pillar of a child’s education alongside reading, writing and mathematics and be resourced and taught accordingly”.

It should form the core of a new curriculum for personal social health and economic education, it adds.

Lord Best commented “There is a lot of material which makes the internet harmful but it can also be hugely beneficial – a way for children to interact and find out about the world.”
The report notes “a worrying rise in unhappy and anxious children emerging alongside the upward trend of childhood internet use” and calls for more robust research into a “possible causal relationship” alongside immediate action to prevent children being affected.

Overall, the report says the internet should “do more to promote children’s best interests” but found self regulation by industry was “failing” and that commercial interests “very often” took priority.

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