Making safety relevant

My first emotion when I see groups of people campaigning against something new, is one of horror. Moral panic has a self-perpetuating energy that has the power to stifle innovation and stunt cultural development. I just expect them to grab the nearest pitchfork and head off towards the menacing looking house on the hill.

That’s probably an over-the-top reaction to the online safety campaign that was launched earlier this week (read story here), particularly since those campaigning for greater measures to be put in place to keep children safe want to promote the internet as an important tool for learning and development.

Actually, even me, with my anti-luddite and anti-group mentality, can appreciate that the internet has exploded without the usual checks and balances. Just this morning I read how 30 Facebook pages had been removed because prisoners were using them to taunt their victims. Can you imagine a prisoner being handed a phone to contact all those he/she had persecuted? It’s a learning process, and we are feeling our way around in the dark to a certain extent. But that’s good! We need to learn, rather than being caged by some proscriptive framework; making mistakes makes us wiser.

Children, however, don’t need to experience the same trials and errors that others have already experienced, and their safety should be paramount. What is also encouraging is that many organisations have joined this initiative, which should keep it fresh in people’s minds.

The challenge, however, will be to keep it relevant and non-patronising. The ‘safe’ behaviour has to come from the children themselves, rather than being hand held – in the same way that you teach a child to cross the road safely, rather than accompany them on every journey. Otherwise the campaign will turn into another example of adults telling them what to do.

Nathan Bushell, editor

Children’s online safety highlighted

Over a quarter of young people say their parents never talk to them about their time online, according a survey that was published this week to coincide with a new internet safety campaign.

As from Tuesday (February 9) parents and young people will see the digital code, ‘Zip it, Block It, Flag It’ brought to life with radio, press and poster advertising, as the new internet safety campaign ‘Click Clever, Click Safe’ is launched.

The campaign launch comes alongside a new survey of young people which shows that many parents still aren’t talking to their children about internet safety; and yet the average 6-14 year old communicates with more than 1,100 people online in a year.

The survey, conducted by Young Poll, found that:

Are you the brainiest school in Britain?

Primary schools across the nation encouraged to take the challenge in the Next Generation Learning National Schools Quiz.

Becta and the NEN (National Education Network) are launching the first ever nationwide online schools quiz, which will see thousands of primary school children up and down the country compete simultaneously.

Schools entering the Next Generation Learning National Schools Quiz, which will take place on Friday, 12 March, could win up to £3,000 worth of ICT equipment or training for their school, plus there are fantastic spot prizes for successful individuals and teams who take part.

The quiz will run exclusively online, via the NEN, covering curriculum areas, including history, science, citizenship, numeracy and literacy. Questions will be provided by a series of high profile national partners who include the Historic Royal Palaces, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the relevant subject associations. Read More...

Pebble to cause ripples
Interactive Education will be showcasing its new hand-held learning response system at the Education Show, stand N55, NEC Birmingham from 4th-6th March 2010.

The new handset is called Pebble as it has a streamlined design which is easy to grip, so is ideal for early years and special educational needs students.

Filtered out
Brightfilter, provider of web filtering solutions to the education sector, demonstrated its latest range of products at BETT 2010. Visitors were invited to stand B59 to experience the range of solutions for protecting pupils online, including:

Redstor launches Protector
Redstor, a managed services and IT solutions company, has announced the launch of its new backup and security service, Redstor Protector.

Specially designed for the education market this service secures and protects

Ambitious ideas

e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology recently launched a new programme.

Smart learning at BETT
Designed to engage and motivate learners from Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3 in Phonics, ICT, Literacy, PSHE & Citizenship and English, Smart Learning’s resources are tailored to meet the needs of each independent learner.

Real-time school data management

Hyperspheric Solutions has launched Stars 4 Schools — School Tracking, Assessment and Reporting System – at BETT 2010. Locally launched in July 2009, Stars 4 Schools enables the flow of data from mark sheets to students’ reports and whole-school statistics.

The ease of embedded software
De-LTA is the new software from Empowering Confidence, which allows teachers to create re-usable learning objects from video material.

The company claims that 40% of students have a visual learning preference, which is usually satisfied by videos.

Software update
Crick Software will release a new feature in its WriteOnline software, in 2010.

WriteOnline is an online word processor for education that provides support features for learners of all abilities from upper primary pupils to .

Projected learning

Epson has launched its first range of ultra-short-throw projectors designed to meet the growing demand for easy-to-use ICT equipment in classrooms.

The company said the new models are ideal for use with

School Business Manager

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ICT Manager

required for Secondary School based in Surrey to support the entire Schools network infrastructure, servers and workstations. Manage the Schools ICT staff, including training and appraisal. Provide advice on networking, purchasing and any relevant contractors. Develop, implement and monitor the
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Education ICT Support Service is currently looking for a Field Based ICT Engineer.

You will be working alongside Schools in maintaining and developing ICT in line with the Becta Frame Work. You will be responsible for visiting Schools and carrying out hardware, software installations, basic administration, health checks, fault trouble shooting,
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Raising the bar in teaching
Entry requirements for teacher training in England are too low and damage the status of the profession, the Commons education select committee has said.

The MPs said graduates applying for post-graduate certificate of education (PGCE) courses should have at least a lower second Read More...

Computer giveaway sparks interest
More than 130,000 families have applied for free laptops and broadband internet access for their children – just three weeks after the government launched its giveaway scheme.

To date 131,938 application packs have been requested and 14,671 filled in and returned, with 5,309 Read More...

Home Access suppliers announced
Becta has announced the appointment of four provisionally approved suppliers for the Home Access programme.

Launched by Prime Minister, Gordon Brown in January 2010, Home Access is a government programme managed by Becta. It aims to ensure that more children in state-maintained education Read More...


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