#2 How can we encourage our students to use the internet more safely?
N-Act Theatre In Schools Company from England visits British School Muscat
Internet safety is a worry for parents, students and staff in schools worldwide and was raised as a concern by many parents in our most recent parent survey. I am therefore looking forward to welcoming N-Act Theatre in Schools Company to BSM on 2 and 3 December. N-Act are a theatre company based in the UK who specialise in interactive theatre projects for schools. The performance they will be bringing to our school is called ‘Linked’, and is a play about internet safety.
Despite the growing awareness of how we need to keep ourselves safe online, despite the many videos, information seminars and supportive websites, many of us still fail to acknowledge that we need to do more to keep ourselves safe. There are still too many stories in the news of bullying, grooming, trafficking, radicalisation, identity theft – and sadly the consequences of depression and self-harm, which can be brought about by the negative impact of social media.
Sharon, the Artistic Director of N-Act explained that the play is designed to address the topic in an unusual way.
“It is presented as a unique, humorous and hard-hitting journey into a fictional world that could exist if we continue to take such little care with our use of the internet. It is set in our future – 2043. The young people in the audience would be adults, and they would have children of their own. The world has changed as a direct result of people not taking care of the internet. The internet has taken control of the people. It knows everything there is to know about everyone. The people in charge are called ‘Leaders’ and they acknowledge that the internet has taken control for our safety and security.
One of the greatest changes is what happens on one’s 16th birthday. There is a big ceremony called Links Day – when people receive their Links for Life – all based on what the internet believes their choices would be – similar to the current online shopping prediction – ‘based on your purchase, here are some other things we think you might like!’ On Links Day they are allocated their lifetime home; their hobbies; fun and pass-times; their occupation, their children. There is no choice. The play surrounds the lives of two people, Zac and Sophie, who discover that it is too late to regain control from the internet – there is no way back. If only their parents had cared more when they were young…”
Through its interactive style of performance, Linked helps students to understand how they can maintain their personal privacy; it attends to password security; it explores the nature of online friendships; it examines how to deal with something they might find uncomfortable; it talks about the potential impact of sharing information and pictures; and it stresses the importance of keeping open conversations with parents about their online activities.
N-Act come highly recommended, both from the exam board we use for GCSE Drama and from the students, parents and teachers who have seen their shows all over the UK. They will be with us at BSM on 2nd – 3rd December to perform to all students from Years 6 – 13 and our parents.
We look forward to their visit.
Please see N-Act’s website for more information