With Digital Parenting Week coming up next week, and many schools also reviewing their online safety policies, London CLC’s Peter Lillington rounds up the best recent resources for keeping children safe online.
Digital Parenting Week
This half-term sees the first Digital Parenting Week from Parent Zone, running from 26-30 October. Schools can download free resources to share with families and the week also sees the launch of the Ollee app for children. Ollee is a digital friend for children aged 8-11, created by Parent Zone and designed to help children reflect on how they feel and to process their experiences with the support and help of their parents and carers. It does this by offering them advice about a range of subjects: school, family, friends, their body, the internet and the world.
SWGfL Digital literacy
For planning in schools, we’ve long been fans of the digital-literacy.org.uk scheme from SWGfL, which has been through several iterations and is still a useful site, particularly because it has simple outline planning resources organised by year groups that you can download and edit, and good coverage of different themes. It’s based on the American Common Sense Education resources with adaptations and additions for the UK. (Common Sense Education site itself has some excellent resources and plans including many updates each year, but they do have a US flavour and may need adjusting).
Digital-literacy.org.uk is evolving into Project Evolve, a more interactive site that will eventually have many more resources and full coverage in terms of plans and teaching materials that are fully aligned with the new Education Framework for Connected World version 2, a nationally agreed progression that many UK organisations have collaborated on.
Social media checklists
You may already know the series of social media checklists from SWGfL, which are good for older students, families and perhaps even staff, and a new pocket sized guide has just been published in collaboration with Netflix. Find the full set here.
360 Early Years
First there was 360 Safe, the popular tool now used by more than 13000 schools in the UK.
Then there was 360 Data, with a specific focus on data security. Now there is 360 Early Years, a new free tool focusing on those aspects of online safety particularly relevant to settings for very young children.
SWGfL’s online safety day
SWGfL held a special focus Online Safety day in September. You can catch up with the interesting slides from the event. It included updates from Carolyn Bunting of Internet Matters who highlighted that young people with SEND are significantly more likely to experience contact risks online, including sexting under pressure, coercion, blackmail or threats to send more images. She introduced the Inclusive Digital Safety hub (you can find an introduction to its scope here). There were also updates from Facebook, which has published a 12-page guide in conjunction with UK Safer Internet Centre to help schools make safe and appropriate use of the Facebook family of apps and services.
Safer Internet Day
Next year’s Safer Internet Day theme was also announced at the event. It is – drumroll – ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world’ and you can find more information on the dedicated Safer Internet Day website. Don’t forget that, as a school, you can appear in the extensive listing of supporters of Safer Internet Day; it includes a number of household names and prominent organisations (we’ll be there, don’t worry). There’s a form on the website.
LGfL templates – Digisafe
If you are looking to review your policies and acceptable use agreements at this time of year, to ensure that they are appropriate for any future periods of remote teaching and learning, and for blended learning, you may find useful the most recent templates available from LGfL Digisafe, which have been revised ready for this term. Alongside that we always recommend the 360 Safe tool mentioned above and the raft of template policies also available from SWGfL, which can be edited to suit your school context.
Be Internet Legends
Specifically for KS2 planning (and perhaps also Y2), it is well worth looking at the Google Be Internet Legends site which has a scheme, teacher and parent resources and the Interland game.
Parent Zone is working with Google to promote these resources and ran a series of sessions for parents and schools on cyberbullying. Recordings of the 30-minute sessions for parents are on the site and there’s a series of online teacher workshops coming up in November – more here.
From CEOP’s Thinkuknow comes a new online safety toolkit.
Parenting for a Digital Future
Finally, from the LSE’s Parenting for a Digital Future blog, there are two recent interesting posts. Firstly, for parents of younger children, there’s a look at the development of the programme Playing IT Safe – a tool which aims to help parents, carers and educators teach pre-school children how to stay safe online through activities and play.
Secondly, for parents of older children and teenagers, is a reflection piece from Catherine Page Jeffery reviewing her research on how parents make judgements about appropriateness, showing that they are struggling to navigate between what might enhance or disrupt their child’s development.