New Media – New Dangers

Ensuring that our children move safely was the aim of the event on the agenda at the Montessori school in Hausham on Thursday, 10.11.22. It was not about how to cross the street properly.

The invited speaker Martin Ostwinkel from the special cybercrime unit of the Bavarian police gave an insight into the dangers of the so-called new media and trained grades 5-10 on the topics of digitalisation, big data and cybercrime. He paid special attention to social networks, the area in which children and young people mostly move, and to meeting the children on equal terms- which he did very well, Giulia, 15, a pupil in the Flames class (10th grade), said: “I was particularly surprised that when you send a picture via Whatsapp, you lose all rights to the picture. The speaker told us that my face can suddenly appear on a biscuit wrapper without making any money.” Of course, it’s in the privacy policy, the student said. “But who reads through 57 pages of privacy policy?”

The speaker also pointed out the dangers of sending innocuous pictures to friends and educated the young people about cyberbullying. Together with the adolescents, he also worked out a daily schedule with the help of a timeline and at the end, there was the realisation that 1 hour a day would be left for WhatsApp, TicToc, gaming or television. Any more and another area of life would suffer.

One thing was already certain before the event. It is impossible to imagine life without new media. In addition to the long-recognised benefits, it is also important for parents to recognise the dangers. Therefore, in addition to the extra training for the school’s teachers, there was also a parents’ evening on the topic. Mila Hechfellner, a mum of three Montessori pupils aged between 11 and 17, took a few things away from this: “It’s about finding a balancing act without becoming paranoid.” Because one thing became clear to her as soon as the event began. The 13-year-old girl there at the front of the stage was of course not 13 and also not female, but the early 40-year-old speaker. But who could have known that from an online acquaintance? “The event especially touched me on an emotional level,” says Hechfellner. It is about being careful and setting an example as parents.

In addition to Hechfellner, about 70 other parents took up the offer of the Montessori School’s Parents’ Council and filled the large hall at the Bräuwirt Miesbach. Many thanks go to Raiffeisenbank im Oberland eG and SBS Seebauer Solutions GmbH who, among others, made this event possible through their donations.