The Social Media Conversation…

So you’ve caved in to pressure from your child and either ‘handed-down’ an old Smart phone or purchased one specially.  From my own personal experience this seems to be around the 11th birthday certainly with children around here.

The next question (if it hasn’t already arisen) is “Can I get… (insert current social media phenomenon here)?

All the organisations say the WORST thing you can do is just say no.  We know this closes doors and often leads to children going behind their parents backs to get onto social media meaning we also cut off the main avenue for support for those same children if anything goes wrong.

I read a recent article which included some great prompts for parents to use when having this difficult conversation.

Take a look at this article on “Common Sense Media”.

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Yubo

Yubo is a chat app which used to be called “Yellow – Make New Friends”.  It is a social media app for iOS and Android devices which children are starting to engage with.  Through the app users create a profile, share their location, and flip through images of other users in their area.   It’s been called the “Tinder for Snapchat“.

According to the app’s Terms & Conditions it’s for ages 13+ (because of the COPA law) however because of the HIGH levels of sexual content and availability of location details sites such as Common Sense Media have recommended it for 18+ and even their children reviewers suggest it is for 17+.

Netaware also have a review of the app and go with the app’s own rating of 13+, but emphasise the sexual nature of the app and the high risk of exposure to drink, drug and crime!

 

 

Be Internet Awesome

There are new resources from Google to help children understand how to behave online.  The resource is called ‘Be Internet Awesome‘ and is available at https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/.  The resource includes fun online games around the themes of sharing (or not) online, spotting fake information and news, knowing when to and not to share secrets such as personal information and login details, how to behave in a kind way online and most importantly when to be brave and talk to someone else about an issue.

Online Safety Day 2018

Safer Internet Day logo of a tablet computer spinning the world on its finger

Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you!

That second day of the second week of the second month of the year sure does rush around fast these days, and as a CEOP Ambassador and also a 360 Degree Safe Assessor I’m getting quite booked up by schools in a frenzy to help their pupils (and wider community) understand something about the risks of the online world and how to help children avoid them!

Safer Internet Day logo of a tablet computer spinning the world on its finger
[Safer Internet Day logo from UK Safer Internet Centre and http://www.saferinternetday.org.uk]
Safer Internet Day has been around since 2004, but has now risen to such a level of acceptance that I don’t know of a Primary School which doesn’t embrace it at some level.

Every year has a slightly different theme, and this year’s is ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you’.

The idea that the internet belongs to all of us, so we are all responsible for what’s there, is an interesting point for a discussion.   To help schools engage with pupils of all ages the UK Safer Internet Centre has created a range of resources, which focus on healthy online relationships and digital empathy, such as a Education Packs with engaging lesson plans, SID TV films, a quiz and advice pages.

Last year’s campaign reached 42% of all UK children, the aim is to make this year’s Safer Internet Day the biggest yet!

Resources for teachers can be downloaded from  https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018/education-packs or you can find out more from the UK Safer Internet Centre at https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

If you, or your school, are active on social networks then why not sign up for the Thunder Clap.  The idea is to flood social media with the message about Safer Internet Day.  You can find out more at https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/join-2018-safer-internet-day-thunderclap

Online Safety

Another Safer Internet Day has been and gone and it’s boosted my ‘number of children trained’ (and number of adults) for CEOP via the think-you-know website considerably (boosting the number of children I’ve trained to over 3400).

Having spent some time over the summer fully absorbing Ofsted’s new ‘Online Safety Standards’ (read more at  http://swgfl.org.uk/news/News/online-safety/Making-Sense-of-the-New-Online-Safety-Standards) I have incorporated chunks of that document plus the BBC Newsround research announced on Safer Internet Day into my presentations.  Whilst I was at it I have also been through all of my presentations and paperwork chasing away the remaining references to ‘e-safety’ to replace it with ‘Online Safety’ as recommended by Ofsted.  To be honest I was ahead of the game having adopted ‘Online Safety’ as the new name for ‘e-safety’ some years ago following conversations with 360 Safe assessors about how confusing the name e-safety was to parents!

There are a growing number of Oxfordshire schools engaging with the 360 Safe matrix and quite a few now actively working towards the 360 safe mark.  Many schools are also taking to heart the need to keep all staff updated on Online Safety issues with annual trainning and updates.

Staying safe online by being SMART

It is a modern day life skill which no-one who uses technology can afford to be without.  The internet pervades all that we do, it underpins most of the 21st century technology in our homes and offices.

From smart phones that automatically back up your photos to the cloud (something that certain celebraties will wish didn’t actually happen now) to Central heating thermostats which you can control from your iPad.  Modern devices are increasingly interconnected via the web.

21st Century technology users need to be tech-savy!  They need skills to avoid making costly or embarrassing mistakes!

There are websites which give advice and support to children and their parents such as think-u-know from CEOP. There are podcasts such as security today and there are myriad blogs choked full of advice but a good dollop of common sense and healthy scepticism would make the journey through today’s technology a far safer one for many people.

Smart people follow the SMART rules!

 

S – SAFE – keep your personal information safe, don’t share it with people you don’t really know.

M – MEETING – if you plan to meet people you only know online get an adult you trust to help make the arrangements AND to go with you when you first meet.

A – ACCEPTING – think carefully before accepting attachments, opening links etc.  Nasty things can come in attachments or from rouge web links, even from people you know and trust.

R – RELIABLE – how reliable is that website, that person online?

T – TELL – the MOST important rule.  If anything makes you feel uncomfortable online then you must tell an adult you trust or talk to someone at Childine or click the Report Abuse button online.  If you have a friend that you believe is being bullied you must also tell someone!

Find out more about the Smart Rules from Kidsmart

Download a poster for your classroom or home from HERE!