The last few weeks have seen the release of new eSafety resources. Safer Internet Day 2012 (SID 2012) takes place on Tuesday 7th February with the theme of Connecting Generations and Educating Each Other. The main event website can be found at http://www.saferinternet.org, keep checking the resources section, resources for this year’s event should be available in the next week or so.
CEOP ThinkUKnow will be supporting SID 2012 by broadcasting The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet, which will be available to stream or download and use during parent information sessions. The video and other resouces will be available from the ThinkUKnow website on the 9th January.
YHGfL have teamed up with ROAR Educate to offer schools the opportunity to buy an eSafety software product called ‘Grapple’ which can be used by parents and children to help bridge the knowledge gap between different generations. ‘Grapple’ will be offered to YHGfL schools for a discounted rate and ROAR Educate will allow schools to sell the software to parents/carers enabling them to raise funds for the school. More details of this unique opportunity for YHGfL schools will be available in early January. For a sample of Grapple and useful eSafety challenge for parents and pupils, see the ROAR educate website homepage.
The UK Safer Internet Centre have released a new resource to support parents, which fits in nicely with this year’s theme. A Parents’ Guide to Technology is an online guide which includes information on the safe use of gaming devices, tablets and smartphones.
Here are the notes, presentations and handouts from last week’s ICT network meeting for those who couldn’t make it. There were presentations from Clare Askew and Victoria Turner (YHGfL) and Allan Qualters (AST) as well as updates from Dughall and myself.
Clare Askew spoke about the services available for Kirklees schools through YHGfL. Kirklees will be part of the regional grid for the next three years. This means that YHGfL will provide the broadband connection from Kirklees to the National Education Network (NEN). Clare also mentioned other services which are available, including free Sophos antivirus software, and a VPN solution using text messaging for security. The VPN solution is available to schools for £200 initial setup per school and then £4.50 per year for each user.
Victoria Turner demonstrated an audit tool for eSecurity, which is available on the YHGfL website here. The tool assesses how effective current arrangements are for keeping confidential data secure. She also mentioned the free blog (Classblog, which this blog is written on), podcasting tool, and upcoming video hosting which will be available shortly.
Allan Qualters, Advanced Skills Teacher for ICT, Lydate J&I School gave a presentation on effective use of visualisers. You can download it below:
I gave an update on Gmail for schools, Google Apps for Education (Moople), ICT Mark and the future of support for schools from Kirklees Learning Service. The main points can be found in the presentation below:
There was an opportunity for those attending to complete a survey on the future of ICT network meetings, as these may change slightly when the new traded Learning Service begins in April. If you couldn’t attend, please give us your opinions using the online survey at:
CEOP have a launched a competition to coincide with Safer Internet Day 2011 called ‘My Life Online’. It is aimed at 8-16 year olds and is split into two categories (8-10 and 11-16). The winning entry will receive an Xbox 360 with Kinect. Hurry if you want to enter, the closing date is January 24th.
Full details and links can be found on the CEOP ThinkUKnow website:
The National Education Network would like as many teachers as possible to complete their eSafety survey:
‘Can you help in research to understand what you think about the Internet?
The National Education Network (NEN) Safeguarding Group is a national group concerned with your Internet safety. We (the NEN and Lancaster University) want to understand more about your experiences with the Internet, with social networking sites, and with mobile devices.
This new research, being conducted across the UK by the NEN and Lancaster University, ask you to complete a simple survey.
Answers to survey questions will be used to support the needs of the NEN and those of your school. Taking part is entirely voluntary, all survey responses remain anonymous, and no electronic links are set up if you respond.’
Today I had a wonderful time. I was invited to participate in a local transition event for all the Year 6 children from feeder primary schools for Holmfirth High School.
The day was called ‘Feel Good Friday’ and was intended to meet a number of objectives:
Developing an awareness of emotional wellbeing and how this can be nurtured Fostering relationships with other Year 6 children
Getting to know the layout of Holmfirth High School
Children were organised into groups of 30-35 with representatives from each school included. They then rotated around a carousel of 35 minute activities/sessions including:
Mine was the e-safety session. I wanted the session to be pacey and interactive and I based it on some ideas gathered a few weeks ago after I put out an appeal on Twitter. Dawn Hallybone and Pete Richardson made some suggestions that I used as the basis for the session.
I produced a simple sheet headed ‘Getting to Know You’ that had 11 fields for the children to complete: First name, Middle name, Last name, Age, Birthday, Pet’s name, Favourite colour, Postcode, House number, Phone number and Email address.
Each child was given the sheet, something to write with and a little sheet of those little, circular, coloured stickers. I introduced myself and asked them if they knew everyone in the group (of course they didn’t, having just been thrown together for the day). I said that I had planned an exercise to help them get to know each other better.
Here’s what they had to do:
Fill in your own details on your own sheet.
You can only fill in a detail on your own sheet if you ask a question of someone else first and they give you an answer.
When you speak to someone else you can ‘Friend’ them by asking if they’ll be your friend. If they accept, you can stick one of the little stickers on them and they stick one on you in return.
You should try to talk to as many as possible, preferably people you haven’t met before.
I modelled this first with a willing volunteer to make sure they all understood the (slightly complicated) process.
I gave them about 10 minutes for this and they busily set about the activity, clearly enjoying it. I joined in, too. After 10 minutes, I stopped them. They (and I) had collected plenty of little ‘friend’ stickers. I then sellotaped my sheet to my chest and they did the same. It helped that I already had 30 or so strips of tape dangling off the window sills.
Now for the discussion phase. I said that I had a special plan for the best group of the day and that the plan was that I would be taking them down into Holmfirth where I was going to treat them to a meal in one of the more up-market restaurants. They were thrilled. I said that the trip into town was on the condition that they keep their sheets attached to their chests and ensure that they go out of their way to point their sheets out to strangers and share as much of the information as possible. I then asked if anyone had a problem with that and why.
The answers were as you would expect:
“That would be well embarrasing.” “It wouldn’t be safe.”
“I wouldn’t share all my information with just anyone – especially strangers.”
I then asked what bad things might happen as a result:
“Someone could just phone you up and bully you.”
“Someone you don’t know could just email you and say bad stuff to you.”
“If someone knew where you lived, they could come to your house and burgle you.”
All good so far. I then asked how many of them had social network profiles (such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo etc). Were it not that I already knew roughly what the response would be, I would have been surprised at the large numbers of 10 and 11 year olds that had Facebook accounts. I pointed out that Facebook Terms and Conditions prohibit its use by persons under 13 years of age and went on to discuss with the children the ways in which they used these tools.
They said things like:
“To chat with friends.”
“To play games.”
“To share pictures.”
“To find out what other people are doing.”
I asked about how many friends these children had in these sites and was quoted numbers ranging from 20 or so to 500-600. I also asked if they ‘knew’ or had met all those friends and I got some cagey replies.
Now I was running short on time with only 10 minutes or so left. I drew all the points together (hopefully) emphasising the points that these sites are great and can be useful in so many ways, but that they also have dangers associated. I also pointed out that just as you wouldn’t share your personal information in the real world by posting it to your chest, so you wouldn’t and shouldn’t on the internet. Also, I made the point that ‘friend’ competitions were potentially dangerous as they might make you want to befriend others you didn’t necessarily know.
There was just time to show the excellent CEOP film ‘Jigsaw’, round things off with a final ‘So what have we learned?’ plenary before allowing them to rip their sheets up and deposit them in the bin as they left.