VLEs, Cyberbullying and year 7 – part 1: The Bad

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!

Published by D Needlestone


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