The E-Safety Rule Book
Last week we discussed the ever debatable subject of using technology in the classroom and decided that it could definitely be used to an advantage. We know alarms bells are already are ringing, it's understandable. Implementing such tools always come with risks. There are dangers that come with using these type of platforms, but would it be clever to shy away from them? We've decided that for those who were inspired by our previous blog, we're going to take the bull by the horns and offer our top tips for ensuring a safe and secure environment whilst using the internet. It's not always going to be easy and there are always going to be a few bumps along the way, but by keeping up with the latest trends and introducing the 'know how' to everyone that's subjected, we feel this is the best possible route to take for those ever evolving technological booby traps.
1. Involvement Is Key
When creating an e-safety rule book for the children to follow, it is important to get them involved. Why you ask?! Purely for a sense of ownership, when you feel as if you are part of something, it gives you a sense of responsibility. With your pupils offering their own ideas on how to be sensible when using these tools, it not only educates their knowledge on the topic further, but forces them to find the answers themselves. Keeping your class's minds active will help them to remember far more information and in turn help them implement the strategies in later use (if ever needed!)
2. Parental Guidance
For 24 hour support, contact the nearest and dearest of your pupils. Sending letters out to parents & guardians can help them to understand what's going on in the classroom and the safety measures you are implementing to ensure their children are at as little risk as possible. Technology is used frequently in the home as well as school so it benefits everyone all around the clock!
3. Daily Doses
Rules are made, rules are forgotten. We've all been there and it's so easy to break them when we can't quite remember what they were in the place. So the answer is simple, students must be reminded on a daily/weekly basis. No this doesn't mean we have to dedicate 5 or 10 minutes every time they get the laptops out to reminding the dangers they may come across, this type of method would simply collect the moans and groans before they all switch off. The answer?! Reward systems. Charts, prizes or any sort of recognition for following the rules is a great way to remind your class that there's not only trust when using the internet, but you appreciate that they're doing their best to stay safe. Even appointing e-safety monitors could offer children the chance to confide in other members of their class AND offer even more responsibility, we definitely feel that keeping them motivated IS the answer.
4. Latest Trends
If we asked you which of the social media platforms were the most popular would you know?! Facebook, Instagram & Twitter are used by so many children every day and the trends are forever changing. Keeping up to date with what's going on regardless of whether you use it will always give you an advantage when tailoring your e-safety to specific lessons. If new fads arise, then they must be accounted for and children must be made aware that if they share information on the internet it can potentially put them at risk. Take for example the new investigation that one mother has under gone to show her daughter how quickly something can go viral. The uploaded image of her daughter holding a note, was shared over 54,000 times, allowing children & parents to understand how serious sharing certain information can be. If your pupil's are made aware of such happenings, it may help them to think before they act!
5. Where To Go
Unfortunately, it happens. The internet has changed all of our lives, and children has grown up during this change. Many of the things that confuse, baffle or even scare us, are part of the everyday for them and for many of us, this can all be a bit too much. Children do sometimes come into contact with dangers and cyber bullying, but it's how we deal with it that matters. Although we'd like to think that we're all approachable, sometimes it's difficult for children to speak out. Ensuring that every pupil knows there is a constant support base is a vital component of any e-safety rule book. www.thinkuknow.co.uk offers fantastic resources and advice for parents, primary, secondary and carer's, and aims to make online monitoring easy and achievable.
Over all, it is extremely important to ensure that even if every step cannot be followed, the main pointers are dealt with. As we like to say at Staffroom "Treat your passwords like your chocolate. Don’t let anybody else at it and always treat yourself to a new one.”