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Primary Education News
News How to teach … esafety and digital citizenship
This week the Guardian Teacher Network has resources to help you teach pupils how to stay safe – and how to conduct yourself - online
In recent weeks, the problem of safe and appropriate use of the internet, and specifically social networking sites, has been brought to the fore. There has been the high-profile incident involving Stella Creasy MP and the feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who both received death and rape threats due to their campaign on Twitter supporting women who highlight online abuse. There has also been the tragic suicide of Hannah Smith, who took her own life as a result of the bullying she suffered online through the ask.fm website.
As such, esafety goes beyond staying safe, it's also about how you conduct yourself online – digital citizenship.
The importance of esafety and digital citizenship for schools is a significant one; the provision of which will be inspected when Ofsted comes knocking at the door. Therefore, it is essential that schools find interesting and engaging ways in which to deliver what can be repetitive but vital information to students of all ages. As such, we have scoured the internet and the Guardian Teacher Network resources library for you to achieve this.
The place for schools to start when preparing to deliver esafety and digital citizenship is to develop a comprehensive whole-school policy, which is also an Ofsted requirement. Alan Mackenzie has made his esafety guidance and model policy document available to you. Coupling the whole-school policy and communication with stakeholders is also extremely important.
Mackenzie's final contribution comes in the form of his July 2013 esafety school newsletter, which this month focuses on not talking to strangers online. There are regular newsletters published for both teachers and parents on his comprehensive website.
Still on the subject of providing information to parents, Matt Britland and Nick Forsyth, from Kingston Grammar school have looked at the digital divide between parents and teenagers when it comes to using the internet. This is a great assembly or parents' evening resource that seeks to bridge the divide.
Since the focus of ICT has now changed to computing, there is going to be limited opportunity to give students regular esafety and digital citizenship lessons. As such, schools may need to make use of assembly time to deliver updates to students. We have here a presentation that can be delivered in this time. It looks at online reputation – why it is important to carefully manage what you share and how you share it via social media. The presentation, by @teachertoolkit, which was produced to run during last year's Internet Safety Day, is suitable for both primary and secondary school.
Suitable resources for teaching younger students about the dangers of the internet can be hard to come by. The good people over at UK Safer Internet Centre have a wealth of resources you can use to deliver engaging lessons to key stage 1. The adventures of Smartie the penguin helps to educate younger children about thinking before clicking and seeking adult advice and supervision while using the internet. There are companion lesson plans that work in conjunction with the story. A complete set of resources are available from www.kidsmart.org.uk.
As mentioned earlier, trying to develop a curriculum to deliver esafety and digital citizenship can be difficult due to time constraints. That's what makes the digital literacy and citizenship curriculum plan, hosted on the South West Grid for Learning site and developed by the UK Safer Internet Centre, so valuable. The introduction and overview give detailed guidance on planning the curriculum, with more information including lesson plans found here.
A lesson can really come alive with a well chosen video or some engaging pictures. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) provides a wealth of videos on its YouTube channel to cover different age groups. There is the Jigsaw video (8–10), which explores the issues involved in chatting to strangers online. For older students there are videos that tackle the problems of sharing inappropriate personal images, Consequences (11–16) and Exposed (14–18) (http://youtu.be/4ovR3FF_6us).
The Think U Know site also contains several resources that you will find exceedingly useful for both primary and secondary students. However, in order to fully utilise these resources they advise that you become Ceop trained .
Sometimes a well chosen picture can do more than a text-laden handout. Ollie Bray has created some engaging visuals that do just that. We've picked three images that discuss filtering, digital footprints and the dangers of speaking to strangers online. A full collection of images can be found on his flickr page.
And finally, if you're still unsure of what terms such as digital footprint mean, then Ollie has created some useful instructional videos that you might find useful. Of particular interest were those on the impact of digital technology on behaviour and emotions and understanding digital footprints.
Join the Guardian Teacher Network community www.theguardian.com/teacher-network for free access to teaching resources and an opportunity to share your own. There are also thousands of teaching, leadership and support jobs on the site. Visit jobs.theguardian.com/schools
• Mike Britland is head of ICT at a comprehensive school in Bournemouth. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeHBritland