The topic of the week is Chris Mayoh on E-Safety and Cyberbullying.
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We were delighted to welcome back to the podcast our newly-designated Technology Correspondent, Chris Mayoh to talk about two of his areas of expertise, E-Safety and Cyberbullying.
It quickly became clear that Chris wanted to stress these are safeguarding issues, not ICT issues which means that responsibility for them lies with the headteacher of a school and not with an ICT leader, for example.
Issues to do with E-safety which happen outside school can often have an impact in school. This is difficult for schools to manage. Most Cyberbullying takes place outside school, for example, because children’s use of technology is much more likely to be monitored in school.
MacAfee on the Guardian website:
67% of parents allow their children unmonitored access to the Internet.
However, the results of Cyberbullying at home can have massive implications for children at school – these things can and do ‘blow up’ at school and behaviour and learning are impacted on in negative ways.
Paul points out that Pastoral Teams in school now spend a lot of their time dealing with social media Cyberbullying issues. Chris agrees and says that a lot of the bullying issues which have always been present have now moved to a different space.
Chris MayohChris mentions Ask.fm as a particularly problematic service which can be used anonymously but even more worrying for him is a new.
Where can schools start?
Ofsted have produced a document which is a good place for schools to start when they are looking at E-safety – Inspecting E-Safety. It includes a set of ‘indicators of inadequate practice’ which are the key aspects Ofsted inspectors will look for when they come into schools. This is not about making things better for Ofsted – rather it’s about making schools better and safer for pupils. It covers data safety, passwords and whether there is a progressive curriculum for E-safety in the school.
Chris and Paul agree that safeguarding needs to be a shared priority between all adults in a school including support staff and E-safety can be included in an overall safeguarding policy – and perhaps should be. This has to be promoted and led by senior leadership.
Even if teachers don’t have a personal desire to use technology, they need to be aware of what their pupils are doing and experiencing online. Teachers need to know what to do if a problem occurs.
A new and potentially dangerous app
Chris highlights a new app called Cloakd. It integrates with Facebook and allows users to send messages to their Facebook friends anonymously. If friends so not have the app, they will be alerted that they have a message waiting and encourages them to down load the app. This could be the next big thing in the Cyberbullying world.
What sorts of things should be in a school E-safety audit?
Chris recommends the South West Grid for Learning’s 360 Safe Tool.
This is free to sign up for and use to benchmark your school against the national picture. It also gives you tips for improvement. The four elements are:
- Leadership and Management
- Curriculum for the whole school community
- Standards and Inspection
Schools can also pay for accreditation.
How should teachers handle their own use of social media?
Chris advises that teachers have a professional responsibility 24 hours-a-day in a lot of different aspects of their lives. For example, he points out that teachers are at liberty to take photographs of themselves at the pub outside work but should think very carefully about what they do with them. Think before you upload. You have a responsibility to be digitally professional at all times. Is your digital footprint compatible with your professional profile?
What you choose to do with the evidence of what you do in your spare time is very important.
Paul points out that parents, governors, prospective employers and many others will be able to check out your digital profiles and activity. Chris and Paul have both searched for prospective employees and colleagues online and made judgements as a result.
For lots more detail, listen to the episode!
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