Posts Tagged ‘Working in Schools’

The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

Posted on 29th September 2008 by

I’ve got real concerns about this (see the bottom of the post). According to this news release it will:

• establish a comprehensive public information and awareness and child internet safety campaign across Government and industry including a ‘one-stop shop’ on child internet safety;

• provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour;

• promote responsible advertising to children online; and

• establish voluntary codes of practice for user-generated content sites, making such sites commit to take down inappropriate content within a given time.

This is what Tanya Byron thinks:

“Every parent will know that know that video games and the internet are a part of childhood like never before. This is extremely positive; giving kids the opportunities to learn to have fun and communicate in ways that previous generations could only dream of. But it can also present a huge challenge to parents and other adults involved in the welfare of children.

“That this why we need industry, regulators and parents to work together to protect children against the risks. Setting up UKCISS was a key recommendation in my report and I’m delighted that the Government along with industry, education, law enforcement, and the children’s charities have acted so promptly to make this a reality. “The Council will be a powerful union of some of our key players giving support to parents and guidance to children as they come more and more accustomed to the virtual world – it will also give families, teachers and most importantly children and young people the ability to input experiences and concerns. The UK is a world leader on internet safety for children and I look forward to others adopting this partnership approach.”

I’m worried this organisation will be risk averse, burdened with the pr fear of any internet abuse being laid at it’s door. Already the government has been looking for ways to police the internet.

The country that manages to balance the risk/opportunity that the web represents for young people is the one that will be best placed to enjoy the economic benefits on offer.  Having run a quango once, I know that you don’t create an energetic and imaginative attitude to risk by creating a new quango.

However it is easy to carp.  I think UKCCIS should start with teachers. If we can warm them up to the possibilities that come with an open attitude to the internet, rather than a closed or mistrustful one, we then have a hope of encouraging them to teach children to manage risk rather than run from the slightest suggestion of it.  Until teachers have high levels of digital literacy we’ll struggle to have schools that are anything but freakishly fearful of the web.

Searching Hansard should be part of the citizenship curriculum.

Posted on 11th September 2008 by

Emma Mulqueeny writes that Hansard is cool:

What is Hansard?

Hansard is the edited verbatim report of proceedings in both Houses. Daily Debates are published on this website the next working day at 8am. Find out more about Hansard

Why is it cool?

Because, as Robert Brook showed on twitter earlier, you can do wonderful searches such as this one: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/search/umbrella on umbrellas. Or on any subject of choice…

What fun!

(Am I a little bit sad?)

My response to her last point is an emphatic no, not in the slightest bit sad. Among the tweets I have marked as a favourite is this one from Lloyd:

http://twitter.com/LloydDavis/statuses/894552592

Searching Hansard should be part of the citizenship curriculum.

RSA Education Charter on learning and creativity.

Posted on 30th August 2008 by

Very occasionally I write a post for Thriving (my hat tip for this one), I’m a school governor and also a Fellow of the RSA.  The 250 year old organisation for ideas and social action is just opening its first school in Tipton in the Black Country. As I’ve written before I sometimes find myself astonished/cross by how cautious some of our major institutions are about something as important as education. So I’ve signed up to the RSA’s new educational charter (which you can do here). If you sign it this is what you’ll be supporting:

The Charter

It is the primary purpose of education to awaken a love of learning in young people, and give them the ability and desire to carry on learning throughout life. We need to recognise that education has many aims

Education must nurture creativity and capacity for independent and critical thought.

Young people should leave formal education equipped with the confidence, aptitude and skills they need for life and for work.

Education should help young people to understand how to be happy and to develop and maintain their own emotional, physical and mental well-being.

Every young person has the right to develop to their full potential

Ability comes in many forms and learners need to be supported to enjoy success no matter where their talents lie.

The educational success of learners should not depend on their background. Schools, communities and families must work together to close gaps in attainment.

The curriculum in schools and colleges should balance abstract and practical knowledge so that every learner can access high quality academic and vocational opportunities.

Education should engage the learner with exciting, relevant content and opportunities for learning through experience and by doing.

Education must be a partnership

Learners have a valuable role to play in contributing to the design of their own learning, and in shaping the way their learning environment operates.

The education of young people should be a partnership of schools, parents and the wider community in a local area.

Schools should be inclusive, creative communities which build tolerance, respect and empathy in young people.

We must trust our schools and education professionals

Every teacher should be a creative professional involved in the design of curricula and learning environments, and should be supported and developed to fulfil that role.

Every school should be different, every school innovative and we must find ways of holding them to account for their performance that rewards rather than stifles this creativity.