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A House of Lords report says learning how to use the internet should be as important as reading and writing in today’s technology driven world.
The Lords Communications Committee believes online responsibilities, risks and acceptable behaviour should all be mandatory factors taught in UK schools.
Industry leaders have said education is key to keeping children safe on the web.
The Lords say: “Children inhabit a world in which every aspect of their lives is mediated through technology: from health to education, from socialising to entertainment.”
“Yet the recognition that children have different needs to those of adults has not yet been fully accepted in the online world,”
The report argues that “digital literacy should be the fourth pillar of a child’s education alongside reading, writing and mathematics and be resourced and taught accordingly”.