E-Safety Live 2012

Edinburgh – Thursday 22nd March 2012

E-Safety Live, now in its 6th year, are landmark events bringing online safety providers, experts and global industry leaders together to participate and discuss with delegates the latest online safety topics. Designed to aid practitioners in the UK to connect with providers, the events will focus on ways to better help safeguard children, as well as professionals, when online.

The workshops focus on four main topics:

• Classroom – Aiming to outline support & resources available to teachers to use in the classroom.

• Preparing Schools – Will offer advice & support to help schools manage and improve their e-safety provision.

• Training Professionals – Focusing on how professionals can manage their online professional reputation, as well as how organisations working with children and young people can engage parents

• Industry – Delivered by leading industry players, these workshops will provide an insight into technologies children love to use and demonstrate the tools or resources available for using them safely. Visit the website to find out more.

Safer Internet Day 2012

This Tuesday may well be just another day, but it is a day that we feel important to acknowledge…

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

This year, Safer Internet Day (SID) will take place on Tuesday 7 February 2012 and will be centred around the theme Connecting generations and educating each other, with the slogan: “Discover the digital world together… safely!”

About Connecting Generations

This topic looks at the reach of the online world across all generations and cultures and encourages families to work together to stay safe online. Whether you are 5, 40 or 75 years old, whether you use the internet once a month or several times a day – each person has something different to bring to the table that can help shape our online experiences and our understanding of online competences and safety. We all have a role to play in ensuring that every child is safe online.

Today our offline and online worlds are strongly connected, from families communicating via webcam with relatives and friends abroad to children doing their homework online. The online world is a unique arena where people of all ages can learn together and from each other, especially regarding online safety. Tech savvy youngsters can teach their elders how to use new technologies, while grandparents can draw on their life experiences to advise younger generations on how to stay safe online, as they discover the digital world together.

How to take part?

Visit saferinternetday.org for more information and to download SID promotional materials and resources.

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Exploring Safe and Unsafe Use of ICT Through Drama

Despite a range of excellent resources and plenty of publicity, there is still considerable concern about the dangers to young people of the misuse of modern technology – ‘cyber bullying’, access to inappropriate material, ‘grooming’ of young people etc.

Although young people, when asked specific questions about the use of ICT will give ‘correct’ answers, there is often a mismatch between their knowledge and their actions.

Borders Youth Theatre will work with a class of P6 at Earlston Primary School, Scottish Borders using drama to explore the issues involved and to devise some pieces of theatre which will illustrate the dangers of mobile phones and the internet and possible safe practice.

The drama pieces will be performed and filmed and broadcast live across Scotland via Glow.  There will be an opportunity for pupils in other schools to interact and perhaps influence the performances.

Although there is no attempt to replace the many excellent sources of information, there will some material available which schools may wish to use to follow up the project with pupils and parents.

Sign up and join us on Tuesday 26th April at 1.45pm

Stirling Council Internet Safety event

On Monday 7th March 2011, Stirling Council hosted an Internet Safety event. The event  was split into 3 seminars held at  two locations  – the Vue Cinema, Stirling and Wallace High School. This event was attended by 900 delegates and was over subscribed by 400 highlighting the growing concerns around Internet Safety.

There were four speakers in attendance:

Chief Inspector Gordon Dawson from Central Scotland Police, who described the work the Police have undertaken around the Internet including Operation Defender.

Linda Thomson of the Women’s Support Project spoke about how our culture is giving mixed messages about sex, sexuality and relationships to children and young people and creating unrealistic expectations and pressures to be hyper sexualized at younger and younger ages.

There was input from FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) who presented on risks associated with illegal downloading and how to be safe, legal and responsible.

Joe Shaw from Education in Stirling Council on “Taking Control…”, this presentation outlined how much we use technology in our day to day life, examples of technology addiction and how we can take sensible steps to safeguard our identity and reduce the risks of being targeted whilst online.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini and members of the Press were in attendance.

This conference builds upon the significant work already undertaken by the Education team within Stirling Council.

Skype you soon!

We all love Skype. One of my best friends lives in Australia, and realistically, we’re not the world’s best “email-buddies”. But the combination of Skype and Facebook work really well for us when it comes to keeping in touch.  A quick update here, a couple of picture comments there, the odd “like” and every couple of weeks a good old computer-face to computer-face Skype natter.  So whilst logging in on Skype the other day to catch up with my suntanned friend, I was greeted with a lovely message from a “Vanda [insert random numbers here]” saying “Hey! I was flicking through the directory and I don’t know you, but I thought you looked like a good person to talk to, add me!” Despite the fact that I was hugely complimented that I “looked like a good person to talk to” and that adding Vanda would take my Skype friend total to nine (!), Vanda was promptly ignored.

If you’re on Skype, or if you’re part of the 500 million people on Facebook, then I’m sure you’ve experienced the same. Every so often, there’s a new “Friend” request in your box, you have the moment of “who could it be!” excitement and on opening it up, you haven’t got a clue.

Having grown up with slogans such as “Say NO to strangers” and “Stranger Danger”, it seems to make clear sense that should someone wish to befriend us that we don’t know, aka stranger, we reject their very kind offer. So why is it we have a generation today that may be happy to accept Vanda’s offers of friendship?

We need to understand our young people today are a generation who are not ‘adjusting’ to social-media like many others are, they are in fact the children of social-media. Where we have had to learn, they have been born into it. I know 2 year olds who can operate an iphone, and I’m sure you’ve seen the recent “I’m a PC” adverts featuring a four and half year old uploading pictures and another with an eight year old creating a photo-movie. Using social-media has become literal child’s-play.

And it’s not just computer access, mobile technology and networking is on the up. 28% of 18-24 years olds check Facebook on their mobile before they even get out of bed in the morning. Young people now have more access to the internet than ever before with the rise of the smartphone.   

Facebook has a clear policy that under 18’s are given a recommended default security setting. However this setting allows everyone (yes everyone) to see their photos and posts, their biography and their family and relationship status. Bearing in mind all someone under the age of 13 (Facebook is for 13 years old and over) needs to do is to slightly amend their date of birth, it’s very easy for a young person’s world to be opened up to unknown eyes and online strangers.

At Young Scot, we’re passionate about new technology and new digital media; in fact we have a whole team dedicated to it. We understand communication is evolving and it’s so important to keep at the forefront of it.  Social networking offers new engagement opportunities (anything that can get 500,000,000 users from every country, culture, religion and age group (over 13) in 6 years can’t be all bad) but at the same time, safety is paramount to this. While 70% of Facebook users are under 30, the message of “Say Ignore to Strangers” needs to be reiterated time and time again. Using the code created by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, we have a clear “Zip It, Block It and Flag It” approach:

Zip It: think about what you say and post – don’t put up anything you wouldn’t show to your mum, dad or carer

Block It: Block any nasty posts or people you don’t know

Flag It: Flag up any problems or concerns immediately with a trusted adult or organisation

With so many great Internet Safety resources now available, access to advice and support has never been so easy. Isis Forensics have just released a free mobile application to help children and young people identify adults posing as children on chat rooms or social networking sites. Glow has a wealth of information, links and resource to encourage responsible use of the internet (check out our Young Scot group page here!) and organisations such as CEOP and Save the Children have hard-hitting awareness campaigns, resource and tools such as the CEOP ‘Report Abuse’ button on various social networking sites. However the message of privacy and “Say No” still needs to be reiterated on every level.  Social Networking and media is there to enhance lives, open healthy doors of opportunity and communication and add to friendships and partnerships. In a word, it’s there to be enjoyed. All we ask is that it’s enjoyed safely, and this is the message that we need to keep in front of our Young People.

Safer Internet Day winner

We were overwhelmed with over 400 entries to our Glow Light Safer Internet Day competition.

The winner was Rosa H from Park Place Primary in Dundee.  Rosa’s image was displayed on Glow Light last week.

We had 5 fab runners up too.  We will feature one image every day this week on Glow  light.

Well done to everyone who entered.  A selection of entries will be showcased on this blog soon.

Safer Internet Day competition

Safer Internet Day this year is on Tuesday 8 February. We are looking to draw people’s attention to this important event by taking over Glow Light with images that support being safe online.

We need your help!

The topic for 2011 is “our virtual lives” around the slogan ” It’s more than a game, it’s your life”.

The image can be hand-drawn (then scanned), created on the computer, or a photograph.  It should convey an element of Internet Safety and gaming.

The winning pupil will have his/her image displayed on Glow light for the whole week beginning Sunday 6 February.  That means all 38000* people who logged into Glow last week will see your picture!

Log in to the Glow group for more details.

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