Helping schoolchildren avoid online risks when using the internet for research and homework, Britannica has developed a free comprehensive e-Safety guide that is now being offered to English speaking students and teachers of the Algarve.
The free e-Safety guide examines the best practice for searching safely and using social networks and online gaming platforms, in addition to a range of advice and useful tips for parents and teachers.
A new report from Encyclopaedia Britannica reveals that one in five students in the UK (19%) often feel unsafe or worried by easily-accessible inappropriate content when using the internet for exam preparation, coursework or homework.
Britannica is currently creating connections with English-spoken schools and teachers in Portugal to provide an online learning platform for students, to ensure that they have access to reliable and safe online material and that they are taught about the principles of e-Safety.
The research also reveals that nearly a third (30%) of students in the UK admit to having inadvertently accessed unsuitable content when researching for schoolwork, with a further two in five (40%) saying that it is “too easy” to access this material.
Many students are also concerned that their schools are not doing enough to equip them to avoid accessing unsuitable sites. One in five students (19%) say that their school has never taught them basic online safety tips such as using safe searches or trusted sites or how to research online safely.
With many admitting to not knowing how to research online, it’s not surprising that many students also find it difficult to find age-appropriate or reliable sources for their exam preparation. Two in five (44%) students say it is difficult to know whether the websites they use are trustworthy, while 57% state they often find it difficult to understand the information they find online.
According to the Britannica report, a further half says there are no educational websites specifically aimed at 11-16 year olds.
A lack of understanding of how to research online is also forcing many students into bad habits. More than a third say they never consider who has published the information they are accessing, while half concede they usually just rely on sites which appear at the top of a Google search.
To help schools in Portugal teach their students about the importance of e-Safety, Britannica has developed a free comprehensive e-Safety guide.
“As schools in Portugal integrate new technologies into the classroom, it’s imperative that e-Safety principles are integrated as a key aspect of the curriculum, particularly as students are often several steps ahead when it comes to using the latest smart devices and software,” said Ian Grant, Managing Director of Encyclopaedia Britannica UK.
He added: “Britannica is committed to helping schools and their students in Portugal to be e-Safe and e-Aware and there’s no reason why, with the right policy and curriculum in place, students should not be able to use e-resources confidently and purposefully.”
Britannica’s guide to e-Safety is available for all schools to download for free and can be found by visiting www.britannica.co.uk/education