Kodo Education have released a free anti-radicalisation checklist for schools. The resource, available via www.e-safetysupport.com, aims to help teachers with this hot potato under the new 'Prevent duty' obligations faced by schools.
The UK government has committed to investing £3.5 million in technology to support schools to adopt the new IT curriculum in 2015. While this technology investment is undoubtedly welcomed, the rapid advancement of connected classrooms and e-learning has left many teachers struggling to keep up.
Over the past few years public knowledge of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) has increased, not least due to several high profile cases in Oxford, Rotherham and Bradford. In many ways, these high-profile cases are just the tip of the iceberg, as many children and young people are not the victims of organised groups of adults, but by individuals whom they know and trust.
Most students in school today are digital natives. They’ve grown up with smartphones and tablets, interacting with the world in a very different way than we did 15 years ago. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we're just a click away from information about any topic imaginable. The world has become smaller, metaphorically speaking, and texts are no longer confined to books in a library. Instead there’s a range of interactive resources, image banks, online archives, web-pages, audiovisual material and more recently apps for smartphones and tablets, all readily accessible.
As teachers we are very much aware of the dangers students face online, much more so than the children in our charge. These can be issues of data protection, bullying, hacking and dangers posed by strangers. Of course, protecting children has to be done in partnership with parents, but there is much that can be done in a classroom environment to start raising awareness.
Chances are, you have a mobile phone on your person right now. It’s the same for many children, so how can schools stop these devices from being a portable scourge? Gordon Christiansen, CEO at Mobile Guardian, discusses the options available to teachers.
There has been a dramatic rise in mobile devices crossing back and forth between the school gates, and be it smartphones, tablets, notebooks or laptops, whether they are parent-owned or school-owned, there remains a duty of care that schools must practice. Schools have a responsibility to ensure that students’ mobile access to the world is properly managed and protects them from harm.
When it comes to safeguarding pupils online, some teachers will want to take a ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ approach to the issue. Keir McDonald, Chairman of EduCare, argues that the benefits of learning online outweigh the risks commonly associated with the internet.
As adults, we know that the internet is not a good or bad thing, just as there are no good or bad books (only well written or badly written books). It’s true that there are parts of the internet which are enlightening and breathtaking, and other parts which are deeply problematic. However, we don’t fear for our own safety every time we use Google or a social networking site. Why then are well-meaning teachers so frequently driven to alarmism when it comes to students going online?
Given the importance of teachers being secure in their working lives, it’s vital that schools take into account the effect of social media and technology. Elliot Simmonds of VoicED examines how teachers can take care of themselves in a digital world.
We have covered cyber-bullying a lot on the our blog recently, along with other technology-influenced issues such as ‘sexting’ and the specific impact on SEN students. However, two recent pieces of research published by two different teachers’ unions have focussed not on pupils and their vulnerability, but on teachers and educators who suffer from the same problems.