Posts Tagged ‘education’

Cyber-bullying, Internet Safety and Social Media Surgeries

Posted on 26th April 2013 by

Tragedy of Cyberbullying

We’re currently working with BRAG, Bullying Reduction Action Group, supported by the POD and Link2ICT to pilot a project in the Nechells area of Birmingham, working with schools to develop a social media surgery that focuses on skills as well as conversations around internet safety and cyber bullying.

We’ve been working with students from Heartlands Academy from years 7, 9 and 12 to turn them into surgeons and inviting groups of parents in as patients so that they can be taught how to use the sites and tools that their children maybe using, and to discuss any concerns they may have with them using “the internet” with their children’s peers.

We’d held a session at the beginning of the project to identify what the students thought of the  internet, what sites they used and how aware they were of their own and others safety online. We then held the same session with parents and teachers and the differences were vast. The students had identified way more sites they were using than the parents and teachers even knew of , and even if the adults knew of a site or platform they were in most occasions not using it themselves so were maybe unable to properly advise on security and privacy settings to help the students keep themselves safe.

Surgeries

Last night was the second open surgery, where we had a group of year 9 students on hand to answer parents questions and we had 5 patients come for support.  Their questions were varied from “How do I stop my child from using Facebook?”; “How do I set myself up on Facebook”  to “How do YOU keep yourself safe online?”. Answers in short ranged from you “You can’t – but have you thought about coming to an agreement with him like this that I have with my Mom”; “Here let me show you how…” and “Like this…”

Every parent that came in I spoke to before and after the surgery and all of them were impressed by the advice they were given, one even commented that she felt better able to go and talk about Facebook to her own daughter, now she “knew what she was talking about”.   The students had really enjoyed becoming the teacher, and some great conversations had taken place.

We’re just about to move into the second phase of the project – introducing parents from a local junior school to the surgeries, focusing on years 5 and 6, the parents of the students who will soon be looking for their places at senior school,  finding much larger circles of friends and potentially becoming  more active users of social networks themselves as a result.

Learning

I’m really enjoying this project. The students have been amazing and the parents really open to being guided by “experts” much younger than themselves, and I’ve done my fair share of learning too. There were sites the students mentioned and conversations that have taken place that has prompted me to go home and have fairly frank conversations with my 13 year old son. Practically though I’ve also learned a thing or 2 about running a project like this. They are:

  • Plan in advance. Schools are busy places with lots of sports clubs and other extra curricular activities. Trying to schedule sessions around these was hard so plan early and try and get a regular slot.
  • Schools internet access SUCKS! – For someone who is used to open internet access pretty much everywhere I go working with in the restraints of a school building was hard! All the sites we were discussing Facebook, Twitter etc were blocked, so this goes back to point 1. Plan in advance and get the schools network admins to unblock the computers you’ll be working from. (Or do what I did take a  MiFi and my own laptop – although only works with decent 3G coverage)
  • Parent involvement early on is a must. Communicating well to parents what the aims of the project are and how the surgeries would work was really important – That way when they attended the surgeries they weren’t surprised to be sat down learning from someone their children’s ages instead of being talked at my an “expert”.
  • Working with students from different year groups has worked well,  pairing the year 7 students with year 9 & 12 students has helped them to deliver support, and opened up conversations across the year groups – as while the Yr 7 students may have the tech skills and experience, they don’t necessarily have the communication skills the older students have to enable them to get to the bottom of the things the parents really wanted to know.

Stuff I've seen February 20th through to February 23rd

Posted on 23rd February 2010 by

These are my links for February 20th through February 23rd:

  • Socitm and LGA prepare open data guidance | Kable – The Society for IT Management and the Local Government Association are preparing advice to help councils make more of their data publicly available
  • Pulling down and building up: Citizen Ethics Network « Nick Baines’s Blog – "When I read it I felt genuine hope for the first time in a long time that it might be possible to change the way we talk about ethics, public policy and those who engage in the public discourse."
  • Citizen Ethics Network – There is a widespread concern that the winner takes all mentality of the
    banker, and the corrupted values of the politician, have replaced a common
    sense ethics of fairness and integrity. Many worry that an emphasis on a
    shallow individualism has damaged personal relationships and weakened
    important social bonds."
  • Iceland mulling plan to become ‘haven’ for journalism – The China Post – "Hoping to make Iceland a global home for freedom of speech, lawmakers are asking the government this week to implement a journalist's dream package of legislation — promising a safe haven for reporters who want to dig deep, hit hard, and avoid being sued. "
  • MASHe » Blog Archive » Twitter powered subtitles for BBC iPlayer – "Whilst in the general populous there is still uncertainty over the benefits of sites like twitter broadcasters are already exploring how this technology can be used. A case in point in the BBC/Open University The Virtual Revolution series which is exploring how 20 years of the web has shaped our lives. Its not surprising that a programme of this ilk is exploring how technology can be used to support the broadcast (including allowing viewers to mash-up and reuse clips from the series), it is also the first programme that I’ve seen broadcast a hashtag within its opening credits. The hashtag is a community driven invention which allows comments and content to be tracked across the web including in comments made as tweets."

Stuff I've seen August 28th through to August 31st

Posted on 1st September 2009 by

These are my links for August 28th through August 31st:

  • 15 Unconventional Uses of WordPress – "In this article we will highlight some of the most unconventional uses of WordPress and show you how you can use WordPress in these unconventional way as well." via @problogger
  • Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text | Wired Science | Wired.com – Neat way forward to what we think we can rely on, colur coding the wikpedia stiff that is form people we trust and survives: “They’ve hit on the fundamentally Darwinian nature of Wikipedia,” said Wikipedia software developer and neuroscientist Virgil Griffith of the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the project. “Everyone’s injecting random crap into Wikipedia, and what people agree with more often sticks around. Crap that people don’t like goes away.”
  • Clive Thompson on the New Literacy – "technology isn't killing our ability to write. It's reviving it—and pushing our literacy in bold new directions."
  • BBC – Peston’s Picks: What future for media and journalism? – Robert Peston: "the blog is at the core of everything I do, it is the bedrock of my output. The discipline of doing it shapes my thoughts."
  • Access Space Overview & Site Map – Sheffield – "Access Space is the UK’s first free media lab: an open-access learning community where participants learn, create and communicate online. Participation empowers individuals and develops skills, community, creativity and resourcefulness."
  • New feature: custom locations / The EveryBlock Blog – Draw your own neighbourhood: "As a neighborhood news site, we try to maintain accurate lists of neighborhoods and their boundaries, but we're inevitably incomplete. Neighborhoods change, areas get renamed and redeveloped, and even the most well-established districts can have ambiguous boundaries. (In fact, some argue that neighborhoods have no true boundaries, only centers, but a computer needs to be able to draw the line somewhere.)" Via @dominiccampbell