Ivy International School, in Ashiyie Adenta, Accra, is working to keep students safe while also ensuring they benefit from the wealth of information on the Internet.
Founded in September 2014, the school supports students from 2 years up to the end of IGCSE at 16. It offers a well-rounded educational program aligned with the British National Curriculum and Cambridge International Examinations programs.
The new internet safety programme has been spearheaded by UK trained teacher, Principal Michelle Amoah, who believes a big part of any child’s educational experience should be learning to decipher fake from valid data, to stay safe online.
Principal Michelle Amoah explains:
“Improving access to reading and exposure to educational opportunities in the classroom is vital to develop students’ skill of independent learning while helping them develop reading proficiency. When looking for information, students would normally revert to Google. Yet, Google doesn’t always present credible information in a child-friendly format, and students may find lots of things parents and teachers would rather they were not exposed to. Students may therefore struggle to decipher what is quality information and what is not.”
Until students learn to differentiate fact from opinion or fiction, Ivy International School has invested in using the factual information source, Britannica Digital. “There is of course Wikipedia but it’s not accessible to younger learners and not always accurate,” explains Amoah.
A lot the school’s students with Ghanaian heritage have links with family and friends in other countries, so it’s important they learn about their history. The school is achieving this through creative initiatives. For example, one class recently went on a trip to Zambia – virtually! Clicking on a map of Zambia the class zoomed in on their Class Teacher’s hometown before looking at Ivy International School many years ago.
Amoah adds, “another benefit of using trusted content like Britannica is that it provides the students with the same information at different reading levels. So, while two children might be looking at the same topic, one may be finding out about it through text at a lower reading level.”
“I noticed one of our students with learning needs using the ‘read aloud’ feature which provides an audio of the written text. He can read but he was enjoying the learning experience and absorbing the information; I was happy!”
The daily life of the students at Ivy International School and how they interact online will continue to evolve but parents now know they’ll always be safe, accessing factual, credible information.