This list of Top 10 E-safety tips for parents (and teachers) was originally put together by Marc Shoffren of Clore Shalom school and updated by us both for a session we did together on Limmud conference. I think it’s a great resource as it’s really simple and each point has a web resource. It also treats the internet as a learning opportunity to be embraced rather than a danger to avoided. If you find it useful let us know.

You can download the document here to print or edit Limmud e-safety Top Ten Tips for Parents

Top Ten e-safety Tips for Parents

  • Discover the internet together: www.getsafeonline.org contains advice about firewalls, spyware and antivirus protection as well as how to protect your child.
  • Agree a framework for sensible internet use at home: www.childnet-int.org has some good suggestions for this.
  • Discuss disclosing personal information: www.chatdanger.com is a site for teenagers that gives advice on how to stay safe while chatting online.
  • Explore the issues involved in meeting an e-pal face to face: www.thinkuknow.co.uk has advice for children about this.
  • Teach critical questioning skills when looking at websites: http://web.archive.org/web/20080430094706/www.quick.org.uk/menu.htm has a useful checklist to assess whether a website is likely to be credible. QUICK stands for the Quality Information Checklist. (nb the link takes you to an archive of the site which is otherwise not available)
  • Don’t be too critical of your child’s exploration: It is natural for children to be curious about off-limits material. If they come across inappropriate material use this as an opening to discuss the content with them, and perhaps make rules for this kind of activity. Encourage your children to use child appropriate search engines, such as www.askkids.com.
  • Report illegal material: www.ceop.gov.uk is the website of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre, a police agency tackling child abuse on the internet. It includes a unique facility that enables parents and young people to make reports of actual or attempted abuse on line.
  • Encourage good netiquette: www.transl8it.com is a fun website which translates some of the language used in chatrooms, instant messaging and texting into normal English.
  • Know your child’s net use: Let your child show you which websites that they like visiting and what it is that they do there. Try some of the sites yourself to see what they are experiencing. To explore with them try http://kidsmart.org.uk/
  • Remember the positives: Embrace the internet, it’s a great thing and it’s here to stay. To remind yourself of some of the positives watch the Did You Know presentation, available at http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/

3 Simple Rules for Kids:

  • Stick with your friends. Have your teens limit their privacy settings to Only Friends. That’ll restrict who sees your kids’ information, including pictures, videos, and applications they use.
  • Keep private information private. When filling out their bios, teens can leave fields blank. There is no need for your teens to post their phone numbers or addresses. These features are optional and aren’t required to create a Facebook account.
  • Don’t let your information get away from you. If your teens haven’t restricted who can share their information, their personal data can end up in the hands of marketers. Also, advise your teens to be on the lookout for personal information requests — like their birthday or music playlist — from third parties. And make sure your teens uncheck the public search results box so people can’t find their Facebook page through a Google search.

Sorry there is no part 3: The ugly but do take a look at part one of this story here

Welcome to part 2. In part one I described the frustrations of trying to build up a course on our VLE on e-safety. Here’s how my course ended up looking course

Before we got to the course we did two other activities. I got students to design their own logo using MS Publisher. They learnt to group items and save as a JPG. Students were then taught how to log in to our VLE Rickypedia, to change their password, to update their profile and to add an avatar. The logo they made at the start of the lesson became their avatar. I’ve written two previous posts on avatars and profile fields. These activities took about 30 minutes of the lesson to complete. Next students moved onto the films.

The first film was linked from here . The second film embedded from teachertube. Students watched the films (all our PCs have headphones plugged in now) and did so very attentively. I next put a discussion forum in for students to write about the films. This was the prompting I gave them

forum instructionsStudents then posted their replies. I’ve picked a few random posts below. Some posts led to some great online discussions.  Most students didn’t get beyond making and reading these posts. Over the next two lessons I plan on covering other e-safety related issues. I’ll keep you posted as to how they go. (Nb to see the images below in better quality click or right click and open in a new window)

discussion1 discussion2discussion3discussion4discussion5discussion6

Welcome to the first of a 2 part post – the good and the bad. What do you want first, the bad news or the good news? I’m going with the bad.

This is the story of a lesson or series of lessons introducing our VLE to new year 7 pupils as well as starting to address issues of e-safety.

As I’ve said in previous posts part of my plan to introduce the VLE Rickypedia this year is to train up year 7 pupils to use the tools sensibly and safely so they can do so throughout their time in schools. I’ve been looking at a way of doing this and to integrate it with a current unit that we are teaching this year in ICT lessons (this scheme of work from teach-ict is a great example) . In real life unlike the A-Team plans don’t always come together exactly as you want them. A nasty cold cut down my already haphazard organisation and planning and I ended up one Wednesday morning with a nasty cold, an hour to plan and two year 7 classes rapidly approaching.

Sorry to spoil the suspense but there is a happy ending to the story but here’s what happened in between…

1. I looked through my e-safety bookmarks and came across the thinkuknow and digizen resources – both great resources!

2. I looked at the teacher resources on thinkuknow.co.uk (it doesn’t click to open on firefox so click here)

3. The videos are available to download – rather annoying as I wanted to just embed or link to them for students to watch. Let’s just have a look to see if they are up anywhere else so I don’t have to download them and then place on our network or VLE…

4. Yes I found the videos! But they’re on youtube – like most schools we can’t use youtube – ironically it’s not deemed safe enough – okay then I’ll download them…

5. Okay I need to log in first to download – I’ll just register quickly…

6. Ah – I have to wait for them to validate my registration… in reality this meant I applied on 27th and my registration was validated on 3rd February… okay no videos for me…

7. Just to rub it in it tells me that once my registration is accepted I’ll be able to access some lesson plans and resources but others are not available until I complete half a day training course at one of their venues.

8. I move to other video sharing websites such as teachertube to see what I can find… a couple of okayish American videos which aren’t so relevant to my students.

Oh dear. By now I’m rather frustrated… 30 minutes left to get something sorted. Why if you want kids to stay safe online and teachers to teach pupils to stay safe do you make your resources so hard to access. Okay to be fair there’s some great resources still on the website but I wanted a video… you’ll see why in post two. Then of course with youtube and most other video sharing websites blocked by the Hertfordshire web filter it makes finding resources that much harder.

So onto step 9…

9. Visit digizen – also a great website though centred on social networking and cyberbullying. Rediscover the great film let’s fight it together  – guess what it won’t play on school computers, I’ve no idea why.

10.  One google search later and I find another copy of the video on truetube that works in school.

Why oh why is this so hard. If I wasn’t an ICT teacher on a mission I would have given up long ago and not wasted 40 minutes or so on the steps above. Do carry on to post two to find out what happened in the lesson and how it all went… there is a happy ending!