A collaboration of the world’s leading communication providers including Buongiorno, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, GSM Association, Microsoft, MySpace, Orange FT Group, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone have re-launched the Teachtoday website at http://www.teachtoday.eu.
Teachtoday is specifically designed to help teachers manage the challenges, both inside and outside the classroom, presented by online technologies such as Facebook, YouTube, mobile internet services and services such as Twitter. The website has been designed closely with UK government and professional agencies including Becta, National Association of Head Teachers, teacher unions, local authorities and independent educational experts.
The Teachtoday website builds on the issues outlined in the 2008 Byron Report and the work of the DCSF Cyberbullying Task Force. It has a particular focus on problems that affect teachers directly; for example, where they are subject to malicious comments, videos or fake profiles posted on social networking sites by pupils. These can all be instantly uploaded and shared virally using mobile technologies such as Bluetooth or internet access. The website also provides professional guidance for teachers’ use of personal devices from using a mobile in the school environment, to blogging and social networking.
Teachtoday.eu provides teachers with valuable information and resources needed to manage the safe and responsible use of new technologies within the classroom. It considers a wide range of issues that can affect children and young people today, such as cyberbullying, privacy, health concerns such as self harm and sexual grooming.
“Teachtoday.eu has been developed to ensure that teachers and the whole school workforce have the information and resources necessary to ensure they can deal with the ever changing challenges of new technologies,” said Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, the education union. “We all recognise that changes in the way people share information online have happened so quickly it is almost impossible for teachers to keep ahead of their pupils so we felt, as the sector which works most closely with young people, that it was important to help them address this“.
“The National Education Network welcomes the release of Teachtoday.eu. Online and mobile technologies offer astonishing opportunities for learning. Teachtoday.eu considers both the personal and professional safety of Teachers alongside resources that can be used in the classroom. Effective and safe use and navigation of the Internet is a valuable life skill for all,” commented David Wright, National Education Network (NEN).
Teachtoday.eu is part of a wider industry collaboration which will see further sites launched across Europe. It is developed in partnership with European Schoolnet (EUN), a not-for-profit consortium of 28 European Ministries of Education. EUN provides major European education portals for teaching, learning and collaboration