Back To School — Safety-savvy!
We had the first of our two INSET (In-service Training) days yesterday and I was asked to give a very brief intro to online safety to the staff. It was a sobering lesson to me in just how much I take for granted and just how far many teachers have to come in adapting to the online environment that so many of our pupils inhabit.
I recently completed my CEOP Ambassador training and so was asked by Liz Angus one of the school’s Child Protection Officers to give a quick overview of some of the issues we face in schools and also the work done by CEOP. I immediately contacted Ollie Bray to ask if I could use and adapt some of the slides he used recently and was delighted when he said yes, so, suitably prepared, I did my bit. The session was very well received, and I had quite a few teachers coming up to me after and asking for advice and to say thanks… but one thing that was said by a handful made me realise that I do take some of the obvious safeguards for granted and that not all teachers are as safety-savvy as I thought.
As I was speaking, I made the point that pupils should not be allowed to use a computer in school without supervision. I thought this was a fairly basic and obvious point, but was a bit stunned later at just how many of my colleagues told me that they hadn’t thought of it. Like every other school in Scotland — and probably the world — there never seem to be enough PCs to go around and when deadlines loom it is all too easy to say to a pupil to use a PC in an empty room. The needs of the deadline blind many teachers to the inherent dangers of this. Fortunately, I had the chance to share and will soon be delivering ThinkUKnow training to the staff in the school as part of their CPD… but I can’t help but think how many more teachers need to be educated in this area. We’ll get there, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded just how far we have to go…
I’ve added the slides I ended up using on the day, but don’t forget that most of them are derived from Ollie Bray’s excellent Internet Safety and Responsible Use presentation!