Gooseberry Alert 18 – “Staying Healthy Online”

Gooseberry Student ‘Thoughts’ of the week

Pictures often tell a story.  Look carefully at this picture. Think about and discuss the following questions.

What do you think is going on in this picture?
How are the toys feeling?
Why might they feel like this?

Describe in your own words what the artist might be trying to tell us.
Suggest one thing you could do to have a healthier life online.
Please share with your students.

Source: @MetDaanMagazine 29 September 2017

Gooseberry Teacher ‘Thoughts’ of the week

The online health and wellbeing of staff is just as important as that of the students.  Taking time to reflect how staff use technology outside of school for their work could help improve their online health and wellbeing.  Consider the following, are there guidelines to help support staff with their use of technology as a tool for their work and promote practical use of it outside of the classroom?  Are parents aware of how to make appropriate contact online with staff?  Are they aware of the expectations regarding appropriate reply and response time?  Is there a school etiquette for using technology to communicate, that helps promote health and wellbeing online?    Please share with your staff.

 Gooseberry Parent ‘Thoughts’ of the week

If you use email or an electronic messaging service to keep in contact with your child’s school please use them with care and consideration.  Most teachers work well beyond the end of the school day, so please think about the time chosen to make contact, consider how important the message is and whether there might be a better way to communicate.  Choosing the most effective way to communicate with your child’s school can often help reduce problems and resolve issues quickly.  Finding out the school policy on making contact using technology may help to decide on the best method and provide information on what to expect.  Please share with Parents.

 In the news… In the news… In the news… In the news… In the news…

Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and YouTube had “not done enough” to clarify their policies”.  She simplified the websites’ terms and conditions with privacy law firm Schillings.

 The slimmed-down guides are a response to the Commissioner’s Growing Up Digital report, which found that most children do not understand the agreements they sign when they create social media accounts.

She said, “much more needs to be done” by all of the social media giants to “make them more accountable and transparent”.  The commissioner had criticised Instagram for its 17-page, 5,000-word terms and conditions.

To view the one page summaries for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and YouTube please visit and Login to Gooseberry Parent or Gooseberry Guru.

 What is alerting you this week?

Let us find what you need to know and share our tips with you.  Helping to keep everyone safer online.

Tweet your alert to: @Gooseberryplan

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Gooseberry Student

Town Level has been released and is now live (desktop access only).  Android and IOS release for Town Level in the next month.  Other exciting things have been happening on Gooseberry Planet over the summer.  Playground, Street and Village are now supported by audio on IOS and Google Play.  City Level, coming soon.

Gooseberry Parent

We are delighted to be able to introduce our new Parent Handouts22 resources that inform parents about what they need to know and how they can reduce the risks for themselves and their children, when choosing and using popular apps.  Access these resources through Gooseberry Parent and Gooseberry Guru.

Gooseberry Guru

Learn how to secure online social media accounts with our new ‘How To’ presentations on Snapchat and Instagram.  Access these resources and more through the Gooseberry Guru portal.

Want to know more?  Visit us as

Saharhah App

What is it? is a free app that syncs up to Snapchat and other social media.  It allows people to anonymously share things online they probably would never share face to face.  All you need are some basic personal details and you are free to use the un-monitored platform as you wish.

Sarahah came out originally in February earlier this year in the Middle East and was incredibly popular there and Northern parts of Africa. From there it grew into a more global App, and has now even become an increasingly popular app for both Northern America and European companies.

It originated from an Arabic website but has now been fully translated into English and has been developed into an app so it can link to all forms of Social Media.  Users are currently using Snapchat to post their Sarahah pages in their Snapchat story and encourage people to anonymously roast (Slate, verbally bash a person) or compliment them.  These anonymous messages can then put up the anonymous messages up on Snapchat and react/show others what they received from said anonymous people.

Who uses it and why?

Sarahah is popular with younger teens even though the app is recommended for age 17+ according to the App Store.  This app is popular probably due to its anonymity.  Some people online like the idea of being able to write an anonymous post to get out any pent up frustration towards a person or to critique a person they don’t get along with.

The App was originally developed a business tool and was intended for people to talk to their boss or give their bosses anonymous feedback on how they feel things are going within a working environment and give constructive criticism

How is it used now?

In essence, Sarahah is used as an anonymous way of telling people, be them colleagues, friends or family, what you really think about them without any means or way (unless you give a specific indication it’s you) of identification.

As with most social networking it is open to abuse and misuse.  This app enables people online to bully others and has the capacity to facilitate grooming online.

Why is it used?

Much like 4Chan, Reddit or YouTube it is a way for people to have anonymity if they want to. Something about a life without names or faces online can attract difficult and cruel people who would attack or compliment people with the page and remain anonymous without facing repercussions. If a person were to ask for compliments, they might use Sarahah as a way to get those compliments but with the risk of them getting attacked or roasted.

Similar things to this?

Ask.FM was a popular app back in 2013 and many people used it as a form of speaking to random people online and asking them random questions for a small laughter with friends, it became popular in the very early months of 2015 and since then, like many apps of this kind, has dwindled in popularity.

Yik-Yak is still a popular app that allows people to post things anonymously and other people within that area to see it. You can also search up a certain place and see the ‘Yaks’ that come from it, this too has the capacity to be aimed towards a certain person, people or company as a form of online bullying.

Reducing the risk of inappropriate contact:

  • Keep personal details private. If you must use this app, create a non descript username.
  • Avoid re-posting comments on other social media platforms.
  • Seek help or talk to a trusted adult if you see something that has upset you.
  • Avoid adding to or making comments on posts that have been made by other people online.
  • Secure your friend lists on all social media platforms.
  • Only be friends online with people you would be friends with in the real world.
  • Ideally, avoid using this app altogether or expect to be messaged with comments that you may find upsetting or offensive.

News articles from within this month: