An important lesson to learn even while the kids are at home: how to be smart with your smartphone and avoid bill shock

04 June 2020, Catalina Ciontu

While some school years remain home, your kids may have more time to spare. Even if they’re keeping to their schoolwork, you might have noticed they’re spending more time on their smartphones. 

Be smart with your smartphone - lesson plan for 8 - 11 year olds    Bill Shock character - lesson plan for 8 - 11 year olds 
When using apps, games or participating in quizzes and competitions you could be spending real money through in-app purchases and signing up for subscription services without realising. 

 

Do you trust your child knows what they’re doing online?
Recent research by Ofcom showed that parents are now more likely to trust their children with greater digital independence at a younger age (which now seems to be around age 10). Yet how prepared are they to navigate the online world by themselves? Just like the physical world out there, the online world has its own areas of thin ice which kids should be made aware of by their parents. 

We teach kids about health and hygiene, saving money, time management, how to behave when going out and so on but maybe not so much about the digital world etiquette. Firstly, because it’s a digital, non-tangible environment and we can assume kids can manage it easily, just like they do in everyday life. And secondly some parents feel like their child knows more about digital stuff than they do. And they might, when it comes to technicalities and the latest trends for apps and games. But they may not know much about online safety and using their critical skills. 

Kids might know more than you about digital, but not so much about what to watch out for
If you’re one of these parents and you’re not sure yourself how to have a conversation with your child about digital safety, look no further; we have a lesson plan for 8 – 11 years olds that you can go through with your child and together learn what to watch out for when using smartphones to avoid unexpected charges.

It may come as a surprise to you, but a smartphone can be thought of as being like a wallet. Because it’s not just through credit and debit cards we pay for things online, but also through our phone bill/pay-as-you-go credit. And when using apps, games or participating in quizzes and competitions you could be spending real money through in-app purchases and signing up for subscription services without realising. 

Show your child how to use critical thinking when online and avoid unexpected charges
Although this lesson was created for teachers, it’s very easy and fun to go through it with your child and together explore how to use smartphones responsibly and avoid bill shock. Written together with Childnet, a UK charity on online safety for kids with many years’ experience in working with kids, parents and teachers, this lesson plan is full of fun and practical examples that will help you and your child: 

  • understand that it is possible to spend real money through a smartphone
  • identify situations that will cost you real money and those that will not
  • understand what you can do in these situations and where to get help and advice

Get your child ready to use their critical thinking skills to face the online world responsibly and confidently.

Download the lesson plan now:

Presentation with animations

Student's pack

Teacher's pack