Thinkuknow launches new educational materials on live streaming #LiveSkills #esafety

Live streaming is increasingly becoming one of the most popular online activities for children and young people. Apps such as Musical.ly, Live.me, Periscope and YouNow are all soaring in popularity, which has seen other well established apps such as Facebook and Instagram adding live streaming functions. With this in mind it’s important that professionals are able to stay up to date with how children can stay safe when using these types of platforms.

Using the most up to date intelligence received into the CEOP Command, the education team at CEOP have released a set of new #LiveSkills resources  which concentrate on the specific risks children and young people face whilst live streaming. They focus on the nuanced features of this phenomenon such as the immediacy of ‘live contact’ and the large numbers of users communicating with a young person at any one time, and the affirmation gained via views and gifts.

Key issues covered:

  • The types of tactics offenders use on live streaming platforms
  • Skills to think critically about the people they meet online
  • Identifying and responding to pressure and manipulation online
  • Issues such as low confidence and self-esteem that can make children and young people particularly vulnerable ‘when live’
  • Understanding online sexual abuse and sources of support
  • Building resilience in children and young people

Who are the resources for?

Through a series of age appropriate activities, both primary and secondary aged children will be taught skills to help them think critically about the people they meet online and empower them to respond safely to pressure and manipulation from adult offenders.

There are also accompanying resources for parents and carers to educate them about their children’s internet use and factsheets for professionals that provide context and information about live streaming.

The resources include the following:

  • Exploring Self-esteem for 8-11 year olds: Three 20 minute activities  focused on understanding how to build confidence, recognise their positive character attributes and know who to trust online.
  • Exploring positive and negative attention for 8-11 year olds: Three 20 minute activities focused on identifying what negative attention online could be and what they can do online and offline to seek more positive affirmation.
  • Charlie’s story- live streaming case study for 13+ year olds: 1hour 30min session focusing on a case study of online sexual abuse of a young person via live streaming. The activities explore the concepts of coercion/pressure online, barriers to disclosing and where young people can seek support. This session can be delivered in separate parts.
  • 11-13 and 14+ years: Article focusing on identifying and responding safely to pressure online. This article can also be found on the Thinkuknow website.
  • Parents/carers: A 30 min presentation for parents/carers explaining live streaming, the risks for young people and tips to support their child to stay safe. This presentation can also be adapted to deliver to professionals. A new article exploring similar themes is also available to download and can be found on the Thinkuknow Parents and Carers website.
  • Professionals: All resources are designed to be delivered by professionals working directly with children and young people. A factsheet providing key information about live streaming is also included for your reference.
  • Supporting activities: The package of resources includes comprehensive guidance on delivering each session and includes; lesson plans, a presentation, printable resources, factsheets for professionals and parents and carers.

All resources include key information on reporting to CEOP and where to seek further advice and support. To gain access to these materials, please visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/resources/live-streaming/ to download.

 

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Posted in 2017, CEOP, e-Safety, Exploitation, Live Streaming, Parents, Primary, PSHE, Resources, Schools, Secondary, Social Media, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New NSPCC Research: Impact of online and offline child sexual abuse: “Everyone deserves to be happy and safe”

The NSPCC have published findings of a study undertaken by researchers into the effects of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) carried out using online or digital technologies (technology-assisted CSA, or TA-CSA).  The research team carried out interviews and questionnaires with young people aged 15-19 and a range of professionals.

The full report; “Everyone deserves to be happy and safe” A mixed methods study exploring how online and offline child sexual abuse impact young people and how professionals respond to it” (November 2017) can be accessed here.

Key findings

Characteristics of TA-CSA

  • Technology can give perpetrators of abuse easier access to young people.
  • The online environment can hide abusive dynamics that would be more obvious in face to face relationships.
  • Being unable to escape from an abusive person because they are in frequent contact through technology can make young people feel powerless.
  • Online devices enable perpetrators of abuse to communicate with young people at night-time, when they’re at home, and to control their “night-time space”.
  • A key feature of TA-CSA is threatening to share sexual images of the young people with their friends and family. This is a powerful tool used by perpetrators to stop young people from speaking out and perpetrators may also pressure young people into complying with sexual requests online.
  • The technological dimension can prevent some young people from recognising their experiences as abuse.

The impact of TA-CSA

The study found that TA-CSA has as much impact on a child as offline CSA. The young people interviewed discussed how being sexually abused had affected them. They experienced:

  • self-blame
  • flashbacks or intrusive thoughts
  • depression and low self-esteem
  • nightmares and trouble sleeping
  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • self-harm
  • problems at school, such as difficulty keeping up with work or behavioural problems.

Sometimes, the use of technology in CSA caused additional psychological effects.

  • Fear of sexual images being shared online or being viewed in the future.
  • Being filmed led some young people to feel uncomfortable around cameras.
  • Young people who had been in constant contact with the person who abused them via digital technology could become very fatigued – this was especially the case if they were in contact at night-time.
  • Some of the young people interviewed felt that the initial abuse had made them more vulnerable to further abuse by sexualising them, leading them to drink heavily or take risks or reducing their sense of self-worth and confidence.
  • A high proportion of young people blamed themselves for the abuse. This appeared to be triggered or made worse by unsupportive approaches from school, peers and family.

Professionals’ responses to TA-CSA

  • While the research found that online child sexual abuse had the same impact as offline sexual abuse, professionals perceived online abuse to be less impactful and less of an immediate concern than offline abuse.
  • A lack of knowledge and understandings about this form of sexual abuse can lead to victims being blamed for it and its impact being minimised.
  • Professionals aren’t always clear what is meant by ‘online abuse’ and may not realise the full range of technologies that can be used to facilitate CSA.
  • Professional may think abuse that happens online and offline are entirely separate, without understanding that the two can be entwined. This could mean they don’t ask young people about the involvement of technology in abuse nor offer them appropriate support after experiencing TA-CSA.
  • Some professionals felt that children who experienced CSA offline are less likely to be blamed or stigmatised than those who experience TA-CSA.

Key points for Education

No young person interviewed received adequate relationships education at school prior to the abuse. Some young people reported that their school was unsupportive following the abuse, not recognising the seriousness of the abuse and its impact, and at times blaming and being insufficiently protective.

A finding from the interviews with young people was that online safety education offered specifically to young people who experienced online abuse can feel blaming and stigmatising and arguably may also not always be necessary. While it can play an important role in preventing abuse, if it is to be useful rather than harmful, online safety education should be nuanced and provided to all young people early on.

Key recommendations from the researchers

  • Use of the term ‘technology-assisted child sexual abuse’ (TA-CSA) should generally be used instead of ‘online child sexual abuse’.
  • Awareness-raising campaigns should focus on: a) preventing sexual abuse by helping young people recognise their rights and the principles of healthy relationships; b) helping young people who are experiencing abuse to tell and seek help; c) helping parents, families and peers take preventative steps and promote disclosure and recovery.
  • Safeguarding training for all professionals who work with children and young people should include: a) the dynamics and impact of different forms of abuse, including technology-assisted sexual abuse; b) the types of support and response that children and young people need following it (beyond protection).
  • Industry should further invest in innovative means of tackling technology-assisted abuse, so that abuse can no longer be so easily assisted by technology.
  • A new curriculum for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) should be developed. This should ensure that the principles and skills involved in positive relationships are taught early and revisited regularly.
    • ‘Online safety’ education should be incorporated into this and not offered as a stand-alone.
    • Children and young people should be involved as active participants in developing their school or college’s prevention and intervention approach.
  • Law enforcement should undergo regular training and there should be clear routes for redress when victims do not receive these basic standards of service.
  • Timely and appropriate therapeutic support should be offered to all children who have experienced abuse, and their families – not just when experiencing mental health difficulty.

Young people’s advice to professionals

  • Provide good education on healthy relationships, abuse and consent from a young age
  • Take time to understand the impact of abuse better, notice the signs of abuse and engage in purposeful conversations with young people about it
  • Recognise the seriousness and existence of sexual abuse, including technology-assisted
  • Increase support and make it more accessible and increase sensitive and effective therapy
  • Improve the approach of law enforcement
Posted in 2017, CEOP, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation, ChildLine, Grooming, Peer on peer abuse, Professionals, Research, Schools, Sexting, Sextortion, Technology-Assisted Child Sexual Abuse | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Bullying Week 2017 – ‘All Different, All Equal’

Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and takes place this year from 13th – 17th November with the theme of ‘All Different, All Equal’.

Anti-Bullying Week shines a spotlight on bullying and encourages all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year.

This Anti-Bullying Week, the aims are to:

  • empower children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique;
  • help children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying;
  • encourage parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality;
  • enable teachers and other children’s workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us ‘all different, all equal’ and celebrate difference and equality. Encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying, creating safe environments where children can be themselves.

Further information and resources can be accessed through the Anti-Bullying alliance:

Other resources/content:

Posted in 2017, Anti-Bullying Week, Cyberbullying, e-Safety, Independent Schools, Primary, Schools, Secondary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Safety Briefing: Term 1 2017-18 #eSafety

The Education Safeguarding Team are looking to provide a series of ‘briefing’ blog posts throughout the year. The aim of these posts is to help DSLs in educational settings keep up-to-date with of some of the emerging online safety issues and research. It will also share links to resources and content which could help raise awareness of online safety within educational settings. This is the 1st edition and will cover Term 1 (September-October) 2017. Additional links to articles and resources can also be accessed via the Kent Online Safety Twitter feed.

Some of the links identified may be useful for DSLs to use to stimulate debates or activities within the classroom, could be helpful to share with parents/carers such as via newsletters, or could provide opportunities for discussions with members of staff as part of staff meetings/briefings. Please note that this briefing should not be shared or forwarded directly with pupils and/or parents/carers due to the sensitive or distressing nature of some links.

The following links are not endorsed, controlled or promoted by Kent County Council. DSLs, leaders and managers should make considered decisions about their use within the community; some material may not be suitable for direct use with children or adults, especially if they have been affected by online abuse.

Before sharing links that name specific apps or websites, we recommend DSLs access the following content:

National Updates

Articles and Research

Educational Content

Parent/Carer Content

We welcome views and comments from DSLs as to if this is a helpful feature moving forward. Kent educational settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Team directly or post comments below.

Make sure you subscribe to the Kent Online Safety blog to receive email alerts of future briefings.

Posted in 2017, Briefing, Cyberbullying, Cybercrime, Department for Education, e-Safety, Early Years, Extremism & radicalisation, Filtering and Monitoring, Gaming, Grooming, Hacking, Independent Schools, Instagram, Kent, Leaflet, Online Safety, Parent Zone, Parents, Privacy, Professional Practice, Professionals, Professionals Online Safety Helpline, Research, Resources, Safeguarding, Schools, Social Media, Social Networking, Teachers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Challenges: Advice for Professionals from the UK Safer Internet Centre #esafety

Following recent press coverage, there has been a number of queries locally in Kent and beyond, from educational settings and wider children’s workforce professionals relating to the so-called ’48 hour challenge’.

Colleagues at the UK Safer Internet Centre have issued information (which was accurate at the time of writing) for professionals on their blog  on the 19.10.17. We suggest educational settings access this information when considering if it is appropriate or necessary to share details with their community.

Educational settings may also find it helpful to access the following links:

 

Posted in 2017, Alert, e-Safety, Online Safety, Schools, Social Media, Social Networking, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

UKCCIS Children’s Online Activities, Risks and Safety: Literature Review published

The UKCCIS evidence review group have  published a literature review regarding ‘Children’s online activities, risks and safety.’

The review focusses on exploring:

  • trends, to understand recent developments and anticipate emerging issues;
  • online risk of harm to children and implications for safety policy and practice;
  • key findings, linking to original reports, highlighting useful graphs and including verbatim quotes from children where available.

The findings of the review may be helpful for DSLs and leaders to consider with regards to implementing effective and appropriate online safety approaches within their settings.

The key findings are as follows:

Children’s Internet Access and Use

  • While a small minority of children (mostly from poorer homes) remain without internet access, for most children, internet use is occupying more time, in more locations, including younger children (now four in ten 3- to 4-year-olds) .
  • Compared with other European countries, the UK is distinctive in favouring tablets over smartphones, and high levels of internet use in school.
  • Motivations for using the internet vary mainly by age, and second by gender.
  • Only a minority of children take up online opportunities for creative and civic participation, although many wish to be ‘good digital citizens.
  • Risky opportunities vary: few children say they send photos to online contacts or reveal personal information, but a substantial minority uses services ‘under age’.
  • While it seems many UK children have learned to be cautious online, there is little evidence that their digital skills and literacies are increasing over time (although undoubtedly they increase with age).

Risk of Harm Online

  • Age is the key factor that differentiates among children’s online experiences, with gender also significant.
  • One in ten children to one in five young teens say they encountered something worrying or nasty online in the past year.
  • Children’s top worries are pornography and violence; they say they encounter these most often on video-sharing sites, followed by other websites, social networking sites and games.
  • Children are also concerned about the levels of advertising online, their spending too much time online, inappropriate contacts, rumours and nastiness.
  • The top parent concerns include online violence.
  • There has been little increase or decrease in online risk in recent years, although there are some indications of a rise in hate and self-harm content.
  • It is not possible to determine whether the internet has increased the overall amount of risk children face as they grow up, or whether the internet instead provides a new location for risk experiences, but the nature of the internet itself surely alters and amplifies the consequences.

Specific Risks Online

  • Most research is on children’s exposure to risk, with too little on which children come to harm and why, or what the long-term consequences are.
  • There is some emerging research on children’s involvement in hacking and cybercrime – through peer cultures inducing vulnerable youth or via online gaming, but this is recent and limited in scope.
  • Cyberbullying
    • Estimates vary between 6-25%+ depending on measures – and the
      reasons for victimisation are diverse.
  • Sexting and sexual harassment (peer on peer abuse)
    • Most children experience neither; among those who do, such experiences are often associated with developing intimate relationships as teenagers.
    • The wider context matters – the prevalence of gender inequalities, sexual stereotypes and coercion, and a lack of understanding of consent all serve to blur the boundaries between sexting and harassment; as a result, girls are more at risk, although there are also grounds for concern about boys.
  • Online pornography
    • Estimated prevalence varies, again by age and gender, but some estimates suggest the vast majority of teenagers have seen this; there is qualified evidence of adverse effects, including that children may be learning about sex from pornography, hence the importance of sex education.
  • Sexual solicitation online
    • Research suggests this may affect up to one in ten children; there have been some investigations of the behaviour of groomers, some of the consequences for victims, but there are many gaps here, and a need for a better understanding among child welfare professionals and criminal justice agencies.
  • Radicalisation
    • There is a growing literature on this, but there are currently no UK studies related to online radicalisation of children.

Vulnerability and Resilience

  • Consensus is emerging around the argument that those who can cope with a degree of online adversity, for whatever reason, may become digitally resilient, but those already at risk offline are more likely to be at risk and vulnerable online.
  • There are correlations among risks so those children vulnerable to one type of risk are also likely to be vulnerable to others.
  • There is some research on how vulnerable children face online risk, and on how resilient children cope, but more is needed , especially in relation to long-term outcomes.
  • A host of risk/vulnerability factors are likely to shape children’s online experiences, and this is mediated by the ways in which children develop emotionally, cognitively, in terms of their identity needs, social relationships and need for support, and their peer cultures. However, it remains difficult except in retrospect to pinpoint the moment when children succumb to specific online risks.

Online Safety Initiatives

  • The overwhelming picture is that while diverse stakeholders have tried many initiatives, very few are independently evaluated. This makes it difficult to determine what works and why. Evaluations tend to focus on immediate outcomes (reach, appeal, etc.) rather than a long-term reduction in harm or improvement in well-being.
  • Building children’s digital resilience should have a twin focus on developing critical ability and technical competency in terms of education, as well as supporting children online and offline through constructive and informed parenting practices, through safety and privacy by design, and by improving the digital expertise of relevant welfare and other professionals who work with children.
  • Education
    • School use a range of strategies to implement e-safety priorities – including developing children’s critical abilities – but there is mixed evidence of improvement.
    • Programmes tend to take a standard approach and may not be suited to the specific needs of more vulnerable children.
    • Awareness-raising campaigns such as the Safer Internet Day have been instrumental in changing attitudes and practices.
  • Parents 
    • Parents use a range of mediation strategies including technical controls, rules regulating online access and use, including the majority preferring to talk to their children about the consequences of their online activities.
    • Gaps remain in parents’ abilities and skills for effective mediation; rules and restrictions tend to keep children safe but constrain their opportunities and invite evasion; enabling mediation is empowering providing children and parents have the skills and resilience to cope with risk when it occurs.
    • Parents prefer to receive information about their children’s online safety from schools despite information being available from multiple sources.
    • Parents tend to prefer control tools they are familiar with unless an undesirable incident prompts them to adopt a new one.
  • Industry
    • A range of industry initiatives exists in the form of agreements with the government, individual company policies and initiatives, and industry-level initiatives, but there is evidence to suggest that industry could do more to strengthen collaborative partnerships, particularly with law enforcement.

The full review can be accessed on the UKCCIS website.

Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Online Safety, Research, UKCCIS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper published

On the 11th October 2017, the Government published a consultation that will help shape the UK’s strategies around online safety.

The Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper aims to consider how we can ensure that Britain is the safest place in the world to be online. The strategy seeks to ensure that all options are carefully considered, and wishes to work collaboratively with industry and charities and support children, parents and carers.

The consultation covers various aspects of online safety including:

  • A new social media code of practice to see a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content;
  • An industry-wide levy so social media companies and communication service providers contribute to raise awareness and counter internet harms​;
  • An annual internet safety transparency report to show progress on addressing abusive and harmful content and conduct;
  • Support for tech and digital startups to think safety first – ensuring that necessary safety features are built into apps and products from the very start.
  • adults’ experience of online abuse;
  • young people’s use of online dating websites/ applications.

The role of education

The Strategy also outlines the crucial role that education will play in raising online safety awareness, with a particular focus on children and parents:

  • New compulsory school subjects – Relationship Education at primary and Relationship & Sex Education at secondary to provide online safety education;
  • Social media safety advice – Government will encourage social media companies to offer safety advice and tools to parents and safety messages will be built into online platforms;
  • Safety features highlighted – Government will work to raise awareness around the safety products and features that are available for parents and carers.

It is proposed that the UK Council for Child Internet Safety will become the UK Council for Internet Safety  and will consider the safety of all users, not just children, and help deliver the measures within the Strategy.

Have your say

The Government is inviting responses from organisations and individuals (including schools and other children’s workforce professionals) until 7th December 2017.

Find out more and respond to the consultation here.

Key findings of the Green Paper

A number of key internet safety findings have been complied:

  • Reporting to social media companies is low amongst those who recognise they have been cyberbullied. Children, particularly those who had no direct experience of reporting issues, had little confidence in social media companies to resolve cyberbullying (Cyberbullying: Research into the industry guidelines and attitudes of 12-15 year olds. Family Kids & Youth. (2017)).
  • The amount of children exposed to hate content online seems to be rising. 64% of children and young people aged 13-17 have seen people posting images or videos that are offensive to a particular targeted group (Power of image: A report into the influence of images and videos in young people’s digital lives, UK Safer Internet Centre (2017)).
  • More than four in ten adults users say they have seen something that has upset or offended them on social media in the past 12 months (Adults’ media use and attitudes, – Ofcom report (2017)).
  • Ofcom estimates that the average weekly time spent online for all adults in 2016 was 22.9 hours, 1.3 hours more than 2013. 5-15 year olds spend 15 hours a week online; exposing themselves to risks. Even 3-4 year olds who go online are spending 8 hours per week doing so (Children and parents: media use and attitudes, Ofcom (2016))
  • In the past year, almost one fifth of 12-15 year olds encountered something online that they ‘found worrying or nasty in some way’ (Children and parents: media use and attitudes, Ofcom (2016)).
  • Half of UK adult internet users say they have concerns about what is on the Internet. These concerns relate mainly to offensive/ illegal content (38%), risks to others/ society (22%) and concerns about security/ fraud (20%). Other concerns include personal privacy (9%) and advertising (7%) (Adults’ media use and attitudes, Ofcom (2017)).

Posted in 2017, Consultation, e-Safety, Government, Green Paper, Online Safety, Policy, Research, Strategy, UKCCIS | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anonymous Apps – what school’s need to know #esafety

There has been a recent increase in enquiries from education settings regarding ‘anonymous’ apps and websites. The Kent Online Safety team have put together some information to help schools consider how best to respond.

Anonymous apps – what are they and what are the concerns?

Anonymous apps allow users to leave unnamed or unattributed questions, answers or comments about other people. Many of these apps claim to be designed for adults or business users seeking ‘honest’ feedback from friends, colleagues and clients; most of these apps are rated as suitable for users aged over 18 and were not intended to be used by young people.

If such apps are used to provide positive comments or constructive opinions then their use can be appropriate. However, in recent years there have been increasing concerns regarding young people using anonymous apps, linked to issues such as: cyberbullying, self-harm, violence, low self-esteem and exploitation and grooming.

New anonymous feedback apps appear frequently. In one recent article, Laura Higgins, the manager of the UK Safer Internet Centre Professional Online Safety Helpline said that “So many of these sites are cropping up so quickly that it is hard to say one is more risky than another.” It would be unrealistic to ask professionals or parents and carers to be aware of all new anonymous feedback apps. Similarly, if educational settings sent ‘warnings’ out every time a new app or service appeared, they would find themselves overwhelmed.

What should we be telling parents and carers?

It is essential to acknowledge that, whilst apps change frequently, the messages and support young people need to keep themselves safe online will remain the same. The best approach is to focus on positive behaviours, safe usage and parenting, rather than on specific apps.

As per previous advice, unless there has been a specific incident relating to the app, we would not recommend sending out blanket ‘warning notices’ or letters to parents naming specific services or labelling them as ‘dangerous’. Instead, this may be a good opportunity to remind parents about the importance of discussing online safety and actively engaging with their children online.

Parents and carers should be encouraged to keep communication between them and their children open. They should ask questions about their child’s online life, just as they would about their offline life. They should ask their children to talk about the apps they use so parents can understand how they work. Parents should discuss  how they can keep themselves safe and consider together what they should do if they experienced something unkind, upsetting or uncomfortable online. You may find it useful to share these conversation starter ideas available from Childnet International or the NSPCC Share Aware resources.

If parents are concerned about their children’s internet use or want to learn more about online safety, they should seek support from places such as their child’s school, or from online safety services:

Schools and settings may find the following template letters useful to share with parents, as both proactive and preventative measures, as well as following a specific concern.

What should we be telling children and young people?

It is vital that we (as adults) acknowledge the attraction and exciting opportunities that new technology offers children and young people, and offer sensible advice and guidance to enable them to keep themselves safe online. While developers of such apps need to include better safety features, young people themselves also have a responsibility to behave appropriately online and not to hide behind anonymity to be abusive towards each other.

When talking about anonymous feedback apps, the NSPCC have said: “Children and teenagers must be reassured that it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that either make themselves or other people upset, hurt and scared. Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd.”

It can  help to acknowledge that loneliness and insecurity can be a trigger for some children to seek affirmation or take part in behaviour that could be hurtful to others. Anonymous apps could help some children feel more confident, but they need help to understand where to get positive attention from. Empowering pupils to think critically about the online tools they use and their own behaviour is likely to be more effective than simply telling them not to use it!

It may not be necessary to name the app or service specifically, but use this opportunity to start talking to pupils about the services they use and how to keep themselves safe.

  • Discuss:
    • recent media headlines with young people (if appropriate)
    • the positive and negative consequences of anonymous apps
    • the concept of anonymity online and how users are rarely truly ‘anonymous’
    • the concept of ‘free speech’ and associated legislation
    • the need for all internet users to use online communication tools respectfully both towards others and towards themselves.
    • ways in which users can minimise risks
    • how young people could respond to upsetting, unpleasant or distressing content posted on anonymous apps.

Useful information to use with KS3/4 students could include:

Other useful online safety classroom materials can be found on Kelsi.

What should I do if I have a concern about a child?

Educational settings should follow their usual child protection procedures when responding to online safety incidents or concerns; this may include accessing your school’s anti-bullying, behaviour and online safety policy. If a criminal offence has been committed, schools should contact 101 or 999 if there is an immediate risk of harm.

Further information regarding cyberbullying can be accessed via:

If Kent schools/settings would like further advice regarding anonymous apps or online safety then they can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or the e-Safety Development Officer within the Education Safeguarding team.

What are currently popular examples of anonymous feedback apps?

The following links are provided to help professionals understand some of the currently popular anonymous feedback apps and how they work. Educational settings should consider whether naming a specific site or service is necessary or helpful (additional points to consider regarding this can be found here),

If, following a specific incident, the decision is made to name the specific app or website involved, ensure that information shared is factual and balanced. Confidential information should never be shared, especially if they could compromise a police investigation, for example: children’s names, class details or names/details of suspicious accounts.

Some currently popular examples include:

 

With thanks to the CEOP Education team.
Posted in 2017, Age limits, Anonymous, Apps, Colleges and sixth forms, Cyberbullying, e-Safety, Independent Schools, Letter, Online Safety, Schools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#UKCCIS Overview of Sexting Guidance Published #esafety

The UKCCIS Education working group have published a one page summary document  designed for all teaching and non–teaching staff in schools and colleges. It provides an overview to frontline staff on how to respond to incidences involving ‘sexting.

The full advice document ‘Sexting in Schools and colleges’ complements the DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2016) statutory guidance and the non-statutory ‘Searching, Screening and Confiscation guidance for schools‘.

We recommend that DSLs either circulate the one page document with staff, or use it as basis for your own  guidance and staff training.

Additional guidance for Kent schools regarding local procedures is available via KSCB. The Kent Online Safety policy template and associate guidance also contains information reagrding responding to ‘sexting’ concerns.

Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Education Leaders and Managers, Schools, Sexting, UKCCIS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Demos study finds that a quarter of young people have bullied or insulted someone online #esafety

A report based on a 9 month mapping period involving 668 16-to-18 year olds, published on the 2nd October 2017 think-tank Demos found:

  • 26 per cent of the 16-18 year olds surveyed say they have ‘bullied or insulted someone else’ online
  • 15 per cent of the young people surveyed said they had ‘joined in with other people to “troll” a celebrity or public figure
  • Boys are significantly more likely to say they have bullied or insulted someone online than girls (32 per cent compared with 22 per cent) or ‘trolled’ a public figure (22 per cent compared with 10 per cent)
  • 93 per cent of those who said they had insulted or bullied someone else online, said that they had themselves experienced some form of cyber-bullying or abuse
  • 88 per cent of the teenagers surveyed had given emotional support to someone online
  • Just over half  of young people surveyed (51 per cent) have posted about ‘a political or social cause that they care about’
  • Young people with stronger traits of empathy and self-control are considerably less likely to engage in cyberbullying

During focus groups which took place with 40 16–18-year-olds in Birmingham and London, Demos found that young people are often drawn into cyberbullying because they are aware that their friends can see they are being bullied or insulted online, which leaves them compelled to respond in an aggressive way.

Although the research found that many young people were aware of the moral implications of behaviour on social media, many young people said they would not take any action if they saw someone they knew being bullied online.

The report found that school staff have generally been proactive in responding
to emerging risks from online social networking, with over 80 per cent young people surveyed saying that that they had received some form of guidance at school. However the report stated that it was unclear how effective  this guidance was. Several of the young people involved in the focus groups voiced their dissatisfaction with or disinterest in the guidance that they had received in school:

  • Yeah because teachers aren’t the same age as us, so they don’t really
    understand how to use [social media]. And a lot of kids in school
    don’t listen to their teachers.
  • It’s just constant; block it, ignore it. That’s what they teach you,
    but that’s like… Well, it’s like teaching a human how to walk, like
    it’s just straightforward.
  • Yeah, sometimes they show cheesy videos as well, what happens. Those really tacky videos. Yeah, it’s a bit cringe, yeah.

Recommendations

Alongside recommendations for Government, parents and social media companies, the report recommended that schools should:

  • deliver Digital Citizenship education which contains a strong emphasis on the moral implications of online social networking, with a focus on participatory approaches which seek to develop students’ moral and ethical sensitivity.
    • A focus on digital citizenship rather than solely focusing on ‘risk’ and ‘safety’ is likely to have a more beneficial impact in the long term. Such approaches could include:
      • structured opportunities for personal and group reflection;
      • peer-led learning and mentoring;
      • consideration and discussion of moral issues;
      • involvement of parents, guardians and families.
        • Links to classroom materials (inlcuding some of those featured in the report) can be accessed on Kelsi.
        • The UKCCIS Education group have recently published a consultation document reagrding the use of external visitors to support online safety education.
  • develop school-home links around digital citizenship, supporting parents to close the ‘digital literacy gap’ and develop effective parental mediation approaches.
    • The report identifies that the home is crucial for developing young people’s good character, however it recognises that there is a mismatch in knowledge and attitudes towards social media between parents and children. This means many parents feel unable to effectively mediate their children’s online behaviour.
    • Schools could provide support to parents, to raise their levels of digital literacy and  to help them adopt mediation approaches that engage positively with social media.
      • Suggestions for schools regarding engaging families in online safety can be accessed on Kelsi.

Commenting on the findings, the report’s author, Peter Harrison-Evans, Researcher at Demos said: ‘Our findings show that online social networking can clearly facilitate risky or negative behaviours among a substantial minority of young people. Despite this, we caution against an overly restrictive response, not least because this can be counterproductive – encouraging more covert risky behaviour or limiting engagement in the positive aspects of social media, such as relationship building, and political and civic engagement.

This research also shows the links between character traits such as empathy and self-control, and how young people think and act on social media . It’s here that we feel policy-makers, schools, and parents can make the biggest difference – empowering young people to make a positive contribution to their online communities by building their social digital skills and increasing their online moral sensitivity.’

The full report can be accessed here

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