eSafety is it as important as Road Safety?

On Christmas morning, in many houses in the UK, excited young people opened their shiny new internet-enabled devices. By late afternoon, many social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest, had a whole new set of users. Parents everywhere, feeling proud that they had made their children very happy with their choice of present.

I wonder how many of those parents talked to their children about e-safety, how many of them even understand or know about the range of social media that’s out there, and the potential dangers their children face when using them.

If those same parents bought their children bicycles, would they let them ride them without talking to them about road safety?

The issue is that parents understand about road safety, but so many don’t know where to start with e-safety, and look to the expertise within schools and colleges to support them. Even if the institution blocks social media, they still have a responsibility to keep young people safe, by delivering e-safety training.

Schools and colleges see the need to deliver awareness up-to-date training on topics such as drugs and alcohol, so why not e-safety?

College and school staff, like parents, find it difficult to keep up with the ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ in the world of social media. This is why sites like CEOP and Think You Know are invaluable. They offer a whole host of resources and teaching ideas for schools and colleges to use. The resources are aimed at different age ranges, as well as some resources specifically aimed at parents.

There are videos, lesson plans and a whole host of other resources which can help you deliver e-safety. Although predominantly aimed at under 16s, I find some of the videos so powerful, they can easily be used for delivering training to older teenagers, vulnerable adults and staff. If you are thinking of delivering e-safety training visit the Think You Know website for support, resources and advice.

I am a CEOP ambassador and have delivered e-safety training to around 2,500 practitioners across the FE and Skills sector. To address the diversity of staff I have delivered to, I have used a whole range of resources from across the Internet. Here are links to other excellent resources which I have found useful in my training.

Additional information:

Work Smart – created by the TUC;

Stop Cyber Bullying – I find the intro to this site really useful in order to highlight the extent to which cyberbullying can go;

YouTube videos – There are two great videos that may appeal to post-16 learners. They are really good to set the scene to discuss Facebook Privacy Settings. Facebook in real life video and Can I be your friend video.

Good explanation of Social Media sites: 15 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to Beyond Facebook

If you have been tasked with delivering e-safety training, remember the learners are the experts in social media.

Colin Gallacher
Learning Technology Consultant


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