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How can teachers promote online safety in 2021?

How can teachers promote online safety in 2021?

 

The internet has created amazing opportunities for learning recently and, with teaching temporarily moving online-only, it’s more important than ever that online safety is enforced within the classroom.

With schools now open once again, it’s time to remind students of the dangers and opportunities that come with allowing independent computer tasks and learning, either at home or in the classroom.

During the past year, more independent learning and research tasks have been assigned within schools to limit social contact during a lesson.

Within the classroom there are precautions we can take to limit and even block inappropriate websites, but what about when students are left to their own devices at home? Education plays a huge role in keeping students safe online.

Online safety charity, Childnet, is warning that children are not reporting online harms, often due to a lack of confidence that anything will be done about the issues they face.

Research from the charity shows:

·        Fewer than half of young people trust their favourite apps, games and social media platforms to remove content if it is reported to them

·        Children and young people are often more likely to block someone behaving inappropriately than report them online

·        Nearly a third of children say they sometimes do nothing when they are upset or worried about something online

Whilst some parents have the knowhow to assign internet parental controls and some monitor screen time, there are some parents not aware of the sites their children are accessing.

There is a strong argument to ensuring students understand the dangers of the internet. As teachers and role models, we should be enforcing these. Here are some things we can do during lessons to help children to stay safe online both in the IT Suite and at home:

 

1)      Hold sessions/talks

2)     Use real-life situations

3)     Create a reporting system

4)     Keep up with technology

5)     Keep parents informed

6)     Review and assign policies to school computers

 

1)     Hold sessions and talks

Holding regular sessions explaining the appropriate use of the internet are extremely helpful. Setting mini tasks to help students to further make decisions for themselves and understand when it is appropriate to use the internet. These sessions may also contain information on reporting issues either online or within school.

 

2)    Using real life case studies and situations

Using case studies can help students to see that situations do actually occur. Students may also be able to relate to these situations which will in turn make them question their actions.

 

3)      Create a reporting system

Almost every school in the past few years has experienced cyberbullying or situations where students have been exposed to inappropriate content. Creating a reporting system that potentially rewards students will instill confidence in students anxious about reporting such things.

 

4)      Keep up with technology

With technology constantly being developed, tutors should familiarise themselves with solutions to the problems we face in the education sector. Features of classroom management software’s are being developed to safeguard children from accessing inappropriate websites and applications. Take advantages of these advances as they will help.

 

5)      Keep parents informed

Keeping parents informed will encourage them to take action at home, as well as open their eyes to the possible dangers and opportunities of the web.

 

6)      Review and assign policies to school computers

Policies should be assigned to all machines in your school. Depending on the users, there may be more advanced policies in place (for younger year groups, for example). Violations of these policies should also be flagged up to administrators. Our classroom management software, AB Tutor allows for this and offers a range of advanced features to keep students safe online.

 

Here are some other ways AB Tutor controls e-safety for your school:

·        Block Ports to prevent any Internet activity

·        Limit web browsing to specified sites

·        Black-list specific sites

·        Filter by URL with wildcard

·        Notifications when students visit specified sites

·        Email notification of violation

·        Store all logs centrally

·        See active webpage at a glance

 

If your school, college or education centre is having trouble creating policies and blocking websites for students, we’d be happy to give you a free online demonstration of our software.

You can request yours by clicking here. To view all features, click here.