Schools should set aside time each week to give pupils lessons on the responsible use of Facebook, other social networking sites and the internet in general.
That is the view of Madeleine Moon, the MP for Bridgend who was so quick to indulge in some bandwagon jumping when news first started to break about a number of teenage suicides and self-harm incidents in her constituency.
The MP initially claimed social networking sites were “romanticising suicide” and is now suggesting that pupils need to learn the sensible way to use the internet.
Schools already provide IT lessons that cover internet use and the MP’s suggestion has been criticised as such additional lessons would effectively teach them what they already know and waste valuable learning time.
I do find myself agreeing with Mrs Moon’s call for internet lessons – although I don’t agree with her suggestion of who should be taught.
It is the parents, rather than their children, who need to learn exactly what sites like Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and others are and how they are being used.
Too often we hear parents expressing surprise and shock at what their child or children get up to when they are online.
Mrs Moon’s previous pronouncements and this suggestion reinforces the fact that the generation needing to negotiate a steep internet learning curve are not the ones currently going through school, college or university.
The internet is no passing fad or simply the latest trend, as some still seem to believe, it is fast becoming the hub which society revolves around. There are those who can and do live without the internet, but many are predicting that it won’t be too long before they are in the minority.
Web 2.0 has well and truly left so many adults behind and the frightening thing is some analysts are already looking forward to Web 3.0 and how much further technology will move on in the future.
It is parents who need internet lessons, not children.