We need an expanded Digital Education Curriculum for our young people

We learnt today that Facebook is funding digital ambassadors to teach online safety, particularly around bullying, in secondary schools: Facebook to train teens as anti-bullying ambassadors

I welcome this development as it is at least a start and in the right direction! I like the idea of engaging peers as ambassadors at the secondary level.

However, digital education in the UK remains woefully inadequate when compared with the expected scale of the digital economy and our part in it. For example, only 35% of ICT teachers actually have a relevant ICT qualification!

As more and more of our lives have a digital interface, from robots to shopping and social networks, ensuring our children are able to navigate these digital channels becomes an ever more pressing priority.

I’d like to see digital education strengthened for a ll ages — not just secondary school but also primary age children and parents. I’d also widen the curriculum beyond “how it works” to “why it works” and “how it affects you” — a much broader reach of subjects to include sex, online addiction, news algorithms and basic social etiquette.

It is terrible to think that the average age of exposure to pornography is just 11 years old and that widely accessible online pornography has, some argue, led to an “infected generation” who misunderstand sex at quite a fundamental level.

Action to improve our digital education is sorely needed now.

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