Why Our Schools Are Failing to Prepare Kids for Online Bullying, Cybersecurity, and Coding
Kids in our education systems today are experiencing an entirely different reality than we did while we grew up. With smartphones in everyone’s hands, the entire world is just a thumb tap away, making pressures, bullying, and privacy invasion much more likely for kids at a mere age of 8-years-old.
It’s a lot of stress for our children, which is why it’s so essential we prepare them for the realities of the digital world. Whether that’s online bullying, cybersecurity measures for protecting important information, or learning how to code for future job prospects, these should all be cornerstone topics in our school systems – as early as elementary school.
However, this is still not the case, even as we head into 2020. As this article states, “America is failing its children by not teaching code in every high school.” Why is our country dragging its heels when it comes to topics so critical to the mental and physical well-being of our children? Are other countries passing us by while this happens?
Here’s what should be emphasized in our schools today:
- Coding: Did you know a STEM job opening is filled in just 33-days, compared to the 56-days for any other kind of job today? That’s because STEM-related jobs are entering the market at an alarming rate today, with not enough qualified candidates to fill the position. The basis of many of these jobs is coding – a computer language that tells programs, software, and apps what to do.
Teaching coding in school would prepare students and equip them with desirable hiring abilities so they are better positioned for a lucrative future. Plus, the average coding boot camp clocks in at 14-weeks today, which means this skill can be taught in less than one year.
- Cyber Bullying Awareness: More than 59% of U.S. teens report having been bullied online. Through texting, text apps, and social media sites, with direct messaging portals, children are the victims of slander, insult, and pressures that can make them sad, depressed, anxious, or even suicidal. Our schools should be focusing on these attacks and preparing kids for cyberbullying, as well as advising them on how to avoid it. Plus, these discussions need to involve the parents, too.
- Cybersecurity: About 80% of children have access to a computer in their home. The moment we log onto a computer and use something as simple as Google, we are exposing personal information about ourselves. Children need to learn about the risks of inputting information across the internet, as well as the implications – like those horror stories of kids inviting over child rapists without realizing it.
So why aren’t these subjects at the center of every curriculum today? Experts argue it’s partially a resistance from educators that have been in the industry for decades to adapt to these new topics. Others claim it’s a lack of consensus surrounding how we cover these topics (some argue teaching coding is not a good idea). Since it’s all so new, we are seeing pushback at a time when we can’t afford to see pushback.
We believe it’s time to do something about it. Give our team a call today.