Mobile Phones in the Classroom

Are mobile devices a positive or negative influence in schools?

Mobile PhoneThere has been much in the news recently about children having phones in schools.

Today, the chief inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman supported schools who ban mobile phones.

As reported by the BBC, she is expected to say that the use of phones in the classroom in “dubious at best”. She claims that technology is to blame for “low-level disruption” and that taking a tough stance will endorse a tough behaviour policy in school.

This announcement follows news last week from the headmaster of Eton who endorsed the confiscation of mobile phones from pupils, having younger pupils hand their phones and mobile devices in at night-time.

A recent LSE study discussed in the Guardian found that “banning smartphone use in schools boosted results”.

The benefits of time away from digital devised are widely reported – indeed, this week it has also been reported that gaming addition has now been declared a media disorder and can be treated on the NHS. This reiterates the damage that persistent use of technology could cause.

However, is banning mobile phones in schools a step in the right direction.? Should schools instead be using the technology to encourage and educate about the many elements of our now connected lives?

It’s fair to say that opinion on this is divided. In reality, the capability mobile devices provide for computing, education, communication and organisation are extremely positive. However, finding the right time and place for both use and education is a situation yet to be resolved.

Have your say
How do you feel about mobile phones in school? Do you allow them in the classroom? Have you had good or bad experiences when it comes to mobile devices in school? Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts and experiences.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on June 21, 2018 10:59

Online video

Promoting safe watching and sharing of online videos

YouTube PhoneAsk a room full of modern children what they’d like to do when they’re older, and at least one of them will say that they want to be a professional YouTuber. A few years ago, there was no such thing - but nowadays, professional YouTubers are a new form of celebrity and making a living producing online video is more than viable. Inspired by their online role-models, and made easy through phone apps and cameras, children are experimenting with creating and publishing their own videos.

As professionals, it’s our job to help ensure that children remain safe online, particularly when using online video services. Denying access to these services won’t teach young people to stay safe online; instead, we must teach discrete knowledge and skills.

Online video services
YouTube is by far the most popular provider of online video, but other services, such as Vimeo and Dailymotion, offer the same. Free to use, and originally set up as a video-dating website, YouTube makes its money through advertising and has around 300 hours of video uploaded to its platform every minute. It allows users to comment on each other’s videos, (see our recent article on live streaming) and enter partnerships in order to increase audience size. The vast majority of video sharing websites, including YouTube, are designed for 13+ year olds.

Watching videos: what are the risks?
Due to the openness of the Internet and despite the work of real-life moderators and the removal of videos that breach policies, young people may accidentally stumble across or find videos that are inappropriate, offensive or pornographic. Children may also come across videos that promote violence, bad language, particular viewpoints and religious opinions. Young people will also come across advertising, some of which may be targeted at adults.

A key part of watching online video is the social interaction through commenting; this therefore means that young people may be exposed to language that is unsuitable or that promotes bullying.

Children should be encouraged to report or talk to an adult about any content that they feel is inappropriate; in doing this, they are asking for support and advice. A young person may also need adult intervention if they viewed something that particularly upset or worried them.

Sharing video: what are the risks?
Publishing video online has been made very easy and most modern smart phones have tools build-in for this.

Before publishing a video, young people should be taught to consider whether:

  • The video reflects them positively (will they be proud of it in years to come?);
  • The video is respectful (could anyone find it offensive or upsetting?);
  • They’ve protected their private information within it;
  • Everyone in the video is happy for it to appear online;
  • They want to share the video with the world, their friends, or keep it private.
  • Children should also be taught how to respond to comments on their videos and what to do with comments that are upsetting or those written by trolls:

  • To not respond, since responses can fuel the fire;
  • To report or flag such messages where possible;
  • To save any evidence of online bullying, as this will be useful later;
  • To block users where needed;
  • To gain support from a trusted adult.
  • For more information, visit

    Written by Matt Lovegrove on June 14, 2018 10:45

    Be part of the anti-bullying campaigns taking place next week

    Next week sees both Stand Up To Bullying and Stop Cyberbullying Day address the issue of bullying

    In figures released by charity Ditch the Label in their latest bullying survey, 1-in-2 young people have experienced bullying, with 1-in-10 having been bullied within the past week. In addition, their research revealed that young people feel that social networks are not currently doing enough about online bullying, with many feeling unsafe online.

    Empowering pupils to take the lead on tackling bullying can help in schools, and participating in the forthcoming anti-bullying campaigns taking place next week can help enforce the message.

    Stand Up To Bullying Day 2018Stand up to Bullying Day - June 13th 2018
    Stand Up To Bullying Day was started in 2016 by The Diana Award with HRH The Duke of Cambridge and aims to raise public awareness about bullying and its long term effect, create understanding about our collective role in tackling bullying and to empower the public with the tools to stand up to bullying; wherever they are.

    Whether you're looking to support on social media, run a session in your school or review your anti-bullying policy there's plenty to get you going. Schools can download a resource pack with ideas for activities and fundraising events to support anti-bullying and the Stand Up To Bullying campaign. There is also a Thunderclap where schools can show their support.

    Stop Cyberbullying Day 2018Stop Cyberbullying Day - June 15th 2018
    Stop Cyberbullying Day was founded by The Cybersmile Foundation on June 17th 2012, to promote online positivity and good digital citizenship.

    Since then, every year on the third Friday in June, Stop Cyberbullying Day has become a growing force of positivity.

    Stop Cyberbullying Day encourages people around the world to show their commitment toward a truly inclusive and diverse online environment for all – without fear of personal threats, harassment or abuse.

    To get involved you can use the hashtag #STOPCYBERBULLYINGDAY on the day with your content (images, videos, articles) to let people know you are participating on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube - supporting a brighter, kinder internet. Schools can also sign up to pledge their support via the Thunderclap campaign leading up to the day.

    Join our FREE Membership service for our bullying assembly resource. E-safety Support members can also download cyber bullying specific resources and distribute Internet safety training. Safeguarding Essentials members have access to the full suite of cyber bullying and bullying resources including policies, teaching resources and staff training. Find out more.

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on June 06, 2018 12:45

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