Our Senior Classes attended a talk on Internet Safety in early March. We were delighted to read this review of his visit from Brendan Smith from NUIG.
‘Giving Cyberbullying Awareness talks to children with learning difficulties & ASD. We are living in the Age of Online Technologies when the innocence of childhood is undermined by an exposure to multiple levels of nastiness due to the misuse of the World Wide Web.It is a sad reflection of our time when children as young as nine need to be provided with sessions on Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Awareness, something that I have been doing since 2004.Recently I gave such a presentation to the students and staff of Lakeview School Galway, a great school with fantastic staff who, with lots of love and professionalism, do their job so well in teaching children and youth with learning difficulties and with autism spectrum disorderI remember when I was first asked to do so many years ago I was somewhat reluctant, feeling that I was bringing a darkness into the lives of children who could be super sensitive and to whom people could be so cruel. But the principal Sylvia Griffin told me that was exactly why I should do so. I myself had to recognise that they, like all children of different abilities, needed a proper understanding of what Cyberbullying is and too be shown how they could protect themselves while using the Internet. So I do with them what I do with all my child audiences- I adopt an approach on this issue that’s respectful and sympathetic to their situation whilst also exciting them by exposing them to the beneficial wonders of new immersive technologies including robotics and Virtual Reality. The responses and questions of these children within the interactive session was so supportive that I had a big smile on my face by the end! I look forward to providing an Internet Safety talk to their parents in the next few weeks. Photo is from Lakeview School. As is the case with so many Irish schools in the modern era, their external and internal grounds are alive with joyous nature-themed art.’