A learning platform gives you a digital environment where students can explore social media without exposing their data to the outside world. But there are still a number of issues you need to consider to ensure your student’s eSafety.
1. Give students a safe online environment to work in
Children growing up in a digital age need to develop technological skills, but they also need to learn how to use social media safely. Your students may already be on Facebook: the key is to help them experience social software in a safe arena. Use your learning platform’s built-in social media tools (blogging, messaging, discussion, etc.) so students can explore the possibilities, without sharing information in the public domain.
2. Update your site’s blocking filters regularly
Nearly every school uses a network filter to block access to sites that contain unsuitable content, but it’s possible to beat the filters – as this article shows – so keep your filtering software up to date.
It’s also worth noting that most students are navigating around filters in order to access social networking sites rather than harmful material. Would it be worth relaxing the filters so students can access social networking sites but are protected from harmful material by your filters?
3. Give parents information, but only about their children
Inviting parents as guests into the learning platform is a great way to keep them informed about their children’s education. But this also means the parent can see work by, and information about, other children. Carefully review user access rights – you may be able to restrict what guests can see or use a parent profile that automatically only reveals information about the parent’s own children.
4. Think about eSafety and privacy on your school website
The school website is a great way to promote activities and show what life is like at your school. But think carefully before putting information on this very public sphere. It may be useful to put information about school trips on the website, but do you really want everyone to know that the 4th Grade class will be wondering around the town museum on Tuesday afternoon?
5. Offer continuous eSafety training for teachers
Classroom teachers are often on the frontline when it comes to eSafety, so make sure they have the training and resources they need to educate their students about the dangers and pitfalls – and can avoid them themselves.
There are great resources available for this kind of training. Insafe, for example, is a European network of Awareness Centres promoting safe, responsible use of the internet to young people – and is a great place to find materials to use with teachers, parents and students. At educationcity.com you can find some great resources and posters for younger students.
Find out about the eSafety features in itslearning:
Posted on Tue, May 10, 2011
by Helge Hannisdal