We spend so much time worrying about how children are using social media when our staff could be a bigger problem.

We spend so much time worrying about how children are using social media when our staff could be a bigger problem.

71% of teachers use Facebook daily for personal use, followed by Google + (33 percent), Pinterest (32 percent), Instagram (27 percent) and Twitter (18 percent).

Schools expect teachers to teach a subject with limited knowledge.  Like our students shouldn’t we be teaching staff how to use their own social media, which can then be translated to your school and students.  It is time to change the way we deliver online safety and make it more meaningful with impact rather than an hour’s lesson here and there.

Find out how a Gooseberry Guru gives training on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp for staff and students.  Find out about our LinkedIn workshop for 15-18 year olds.

The reality is we are ALL using social media, it time to educate the whole school community on HOW to use it.

Gooseberry Planet matches the UKCCIS Framework

Gooseberry Planet matches the UKCCIS Framework

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) is a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

the opportunity to develop at different ages and stages. It highlights what a child should know in terms of current online technology, its influence on behaviour and development, and what skills they need to be able to navigate it safely. Aims of the Framework Education for a Connected World is a tool for anyone who works with children and young people. It enables the development of teaching and learning as well as guidance to support children and young people to live knowledgeably, responsibly and safely in a digital world.

It focuses specifically on eight different aspects of online education:
1. Self-image and Identity
2. Online relationships
3. Online reputation
4. Online bullying
5. Managing online information
6. Health, wellbeing and lifestyle
7. Privacy and security
8. Copyright and ownership

The framework aims to support and broaden the provision of online safety education, so that it is empowering, builds resilience and effects positive culture change. The objectives promote the development of safe and appropriate long term behaviours, and support educators in shaping the culture within their setting and beyond.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683895/Education_for_a_connected_world_PDF.PDF

If you would like to find out how we fit the Framework please call 01865 366468

 

Another headline about child sexual abuse and live streaming

Another headline about child sexual abuse and live streaming

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It is a shame that the first week our children are back to school, we have another headline about child sexual abuse and live streaming. The numbers referred to in the National Crime Agency news report 1 are sobering – over 80,000 individual industry referrals for child sex abuse images in 2017 – a 700% increase since 2012. Areas identified in the report as having the greater risk of contact abuse include grooming and live-streaming.

I don’t think most of us realise that we use live streaming nearly every day. Most social media apps offer it as a service. My favourite is Facetime and I use Skype for work every day. It is also, unfortunately, being used by paedophiles to groom children and live-stream child abuse. Apparently, offenders are using the dark web to groom children on the mainstream internet.
I know I have said this before, but it isn’t just parents’ and schools’ responsibility; it is the social networks’ responsibility too, and I totally agree with Sajid Javid MP’s demand for the tech companies to do more to combat online child sex abuse. According to the NCA report, “the technology exists for industry to design-out these offences, to stop these images being shared. Whilst some online platforms have taken important steps to improve safety, we [NCA] are asking them to take it to the next step; to innovate, to use their brightest minds, and to invest in preventing these online offences from happening in the first place.”

What will it take to spur these technology companies to action? How many young lives must be ruined before things change? There are already 400 people arrested in the UK every month for these types of offences. The more I think about it, the angrier I become. I believe these companies should be fined millions for allowing this type of content to remain on their sites. Money seems to be the language they best understand. I know there is the dark web, but so much of this is happening via the live streaming apps like music.ly. Do we look to them to change their apps? Maybe there needs to be stronger age verification? On all the gambling sites you must put in ID and it must be verified. My son is a bit of an entrepreneur and desperate to have a Trading Account, but he can’t as he isn’t 18. Why do we not have these types of rules for Apps that put children at huge risk. The mental scarring of such an ordeal is unimaginable.
It is probably no coincidence that the number of offences is increasing while the hours our children are spending online is also growing. Education has got to be key. Children are unknowingly putting themselves at risk by downloading and accessing free chat rooms, apps and websites that support random messaging, voice and live streaming. This type of social networking promotes random contact with people online which can be exploited by paedophiles. Children must be taught not to share personal details, particularly anything that might identify them or their location.

When a child is being groomed online, it takes some time, it doesn’t happen overnight. We need to educate children on how to recognise this. We happily talk about Strange Danger, yet sometimes ignore the online world where children are often more unsupervised than they are outside the home. These predators behave like our children’s best friends. They make them feel good, feel part of something, promise them treats and then cleverly manipulate them to make them feel guilty and obliged to do what they demand. We must explain this to children and help them to identify the signs, to use their intuition if someone seems a bit “too nice”. They must be empowered to say “No” and know that it is not their fault and that we, as parents, will not blame them if they make a mistake.

We also need to discuss, in an age appropriate way, sexual acts via streaming. I know it’s tough enough talking about the birds and the bees, but the way children behave during live streaming is likely to be quite spontaneous and unless we warn children about this risk, how can we expect them to make the right decisions on the spur of the moment.
Above all, make sure you are alert to your child’s need to discuss any problems. Perhaps just ask them, at a quiet moment when no-one else is around, if they are happy and whether anything is worrying them – give them that chance to unburden themselves and you might save them from something much worse.

1 http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1458-nca-and-police-arrest-130-suspects-for-child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation-in-just-one-week