Henry Platten, Founder of eCadets and GoBubble Launches NetSupport Online Safety Almanac

The new NetSupport and eCadets Online Safety Almanac gives a timely and unique insight into the most up-to-date online safety research, relevant to schools and colleges. Henry tells us more...

E-safety AlmanacOur eagerly awaited NetSupport and eCadets Online Safety Almanac launched at the world’s biggest edtech event, Bett 2019 last week. Bringing together key findings from front-line reports and research papers, the Almanac is essential reading for educators who are keen to secure or update their knowledge of online safety and associated safeguarding processes.

I am honoured to be partnering with my great friend and associate, Al Kingsley, MD at NetSupport and his knowledgeable team on production of this much-needed and important directory, which will provide vital advice to ensure the online safety of children in schools and colleges across the UK.

The Almanac is designed to give a valuable understanding of how children and young people are using and interacting with technology within educational settings and at home. As its author, I have drawn on my considerable experience in creating innovative solutions to keep children safe online, to produce a distillation of the most important and thought-provoking research relating to online child-safety.

Bridging the gap between research and best practice, the Almanac will deliver an overview of the most pertinent ‘Stats and Facts’ relating to children’s online safety, covering hard-hitting topics such as: filtering and monitoring; social media use; cyberbullying; sexting; peer on peer abuse and governance. It will also offer ‘Top Tips’ and relevant case studies, providing practical help and guidance to assist frontline teaching staff.

Said NetSupport’s Al Kingsley: “The importance of being able to get the important information into the right hands at the right time is also what motivated the creation of this Almanac. I’m proud our dear friend Henry Platten has authored the report for us. I’d like to thank him for the great deal of research and time he has invested into this report. It is designed to put the information you need in the palm of your hands.”

The Almanac can be downloaded here

Written by Henry Platten on January 30, 2019 13:07

3 essential digital safety skills for kids

With the explosion of technology and accessibility the importance of digital safety is clear for all… however what are the skills kids need to prepare them for the exciting world ahead and when should we start introducing them?

eCadet MontageTraditional online safety has focused on high schools, however as parents of even nursery age children will say (myself included) their kids can be proficient in using iPads. That’s why we believe in giving kids the skills before they engage with the technology is a far more effective way of delivering real sustainable change and impact.

The key to engaging children in online safety is to trust them.

So what are three essential digital safety skills children need to develop to prepare them for life?

There’s a long list of smaller practical elements including copyright and plagiarism, however my headline skills would be:
1. Assessing risk - It’s important kids can identify what risk factors are and how to respond to each, irrespective of the platform or device
2. Know what to disclose - There are plenty of examples when it’s okay to share certain information and keep others back
3. Develop digital self awareness - From digital footprints, to use of capitals and profile photos, an appreciation of your digital persona is essential for understanding how the world interprets you and your actions. As adults we have grown up with social networks and the internet, however we expect children to be fully competent in these areas, without giving them the opportunity to experience them in a safe way.

The power of peer mentoring
Teams of eCadets in primary schools across the UK have an inspiring impact in embedding key online safety learning because they lead on the subject across their whole school community.

They do this through being a focal point for other pupils to chat with about all aspects of online life, as well as delivering class inputs on a wide range of curriculum-linked areas.

So should children just experience online safety through IT classes? No there's great examples of coordinators in arts and craft empowering the children to make their own robots to illustrate computers we use. In early years the learning can come through colouring competitions to learn what computers are through to digital footprints. Pupils can even create audio clips to explain what a digital footprint is - here is one created by a Mini eCadet.

As digital safety grows and evolves it’s important schools have three pieces to the jigsaw in place to ensure they are getting the maximum impact – training for teachers, technical resilience (filters) and empowering the pupils. Together these three components provide a safe nurturing environment to help the future generations of digital pioneers get the most from the learning opportunities to prepare them for life.

We would like to thank our new partner and guest blogger, Henry Platten from eCadets, for his thoughts on this topic. To find out more about Henry and eCadets, click here.

Written by Henry Platten on March 10, 2016 11:40

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