Setting an example


Setting an example

With the huge rise of online bullying and with Anti Bullying week, on the theme of “Choose Respect”, commencing 12 November, we need to think about why so many children treat each other with little respect.

It is interesting to see the recently conducted survey by the Anti Bullying Alliance.  Their research talks about the worrying numbers of children (41% of 11-16 year olds) who had seen adults bullying each other in the past 6 months – 21% face-to-face, 18% online and 20% in the media.  Not only do children recognise that this sets a bad example, but the report shows 97% s would like to see more respect shown between adults.

I have been talking for quite some time about adults embracing positive behaviour and how, if we change this, it could reduce the number of children being bullied.  I am starting to believe that, if we started with the grownups, we really could make a difference.  I see frequent posts on social media speaking about people in a negative way.  I have seen posts calling people “selfish” for parking their car incorrectly; another calling a person an “idiot” for jumping in front of a train and causing mayhem with transport.  When our children are being bullied, parents post their frustration online, which I do understand, but this is contradicting the very advice we give children at school; telling them not to respond or retaliate to bullying.

Have we lost the ability to feel compassion and think about why people might act in certain ways?  Are we becoming a nation of opinionated campaigners who can’t tolerate an opposing viewpoint or debate an issue without throwing insults?  I do believe this strongly and I regularly talk about this subject in my workshops.  Adults are worse than children when it comes to posting online.  It is no wonder that children have little respect for each other when, in fact, they are just mirroring behaviour that they have learnt from the adults around them.


Online Safety CPD for Teachers


Online Safety in schools. How much do you know? 

Gooseberry Planet is passionate about raising the profile of E-Safety in schools and about engaging and educating the whole school community. Parents and teachers have a combined responsibility to protect and prepare children for a life online. But are we doing enough? Do we feel comfortable talking about online risks? CAN we talk about them or does lack of knowledge, coupled with the digital divide between us and the younger generation, make this difficult?

The session will explore and discuss the current threats and vulnerabilities that exist online for everyone. Stella will introduce Gooseberry Planet – an award winning educational software platform – and demonstrate how gaming technology can effectively help children learn about internet safety. The session will highlight the importance of involving parents in the child’s learning journey and show how Gooseberry Planet can equip teachers with a complete toolkit to effectively and confidently address the subject of E-Safety. 

Date and Time

Tue, Apr 24, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, May 30, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM BST

Thu, Jul 12, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Mon, Nov 26, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT

Fri, Feb 1, 2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM GMT

Tue, Apr 2, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Mon, May 20, 2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM BST

Tue, Jun 18, 2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM BST

What’s going on with Instagram

Instagram, one of the fastest growing social media platforms is a lot of fun for kids. It allows them to share photos of things they find interesting, and add filters and captions to those photos. Like a micro-blogging site, with pictures, Instagram’s popularity with teens has exploded in the last three years. With that being said, Instagram is also constantly evolving, and while it can be ‘good clean fun’, there are some dangers that lurk on the social media app.

Throughout the past few years, Instagram has experienced some major changes that you might not be aware of. We’ve collected a few of these more recent changes and feature additions, and have assessed how they may affect your child’s Instagram safety.

Picture Map

In 2012, Instagram rolled out their “photo map” feature. The photo map, which is now being used by millions of Instagram users, tracks were pictures have been taken, and, in some cases uploaded. This location sharing feature, which is meant to help individuals keep track of their travels, can be dangerous especially for young children.

The map, literally, pulls the pictures up on a map. Other users, if the profile is not private, can see where pictures are taken and uploaded, and, in some instances, zoom in on the exact location. It doesn’t take much digging to get a general idea of where a user might live, or regularly frequent, which is a huge Instagram safety issue, in our opinion.

Staying Safe With Instagram’s Picture Map: To keep Instagram safety intact, make sure your child’s location services are turned off in their phone. Without location services, the map cannot generate where the pictures were taken. You can also turn the map off in Instagram, but disabling location services for pictures is a good idea, especially for a child who uses multiple social media services. Be sure to discuss this issue with your child, and how this feature puts their Instagram safety at risk.

Tagged Photos

In May of 2013, Instagram rolled out a “tag” feature. The tag feature, similar to tagged photos on Facebook, allows users to tag other friends and users in their pictures. This feeds directly into a “tagged” tab on the Instagram app. These pictures can be seen by others, but they do not require the tagged user to accept the tag, automatically. This could potentially be problematic, especially if your child is being bullied.

Staying Safe In Instagram’s Tagging Feature: To keep better tabs on your child’s Instagram life, be sure to check what photos they are tagged in. The “tagged” tab is separate from their picture feed, and is available on their main profile. It is the furthest tab to the right of the profile, next to the “map” tab. You can also change the settings to manually add tagged photos. Click the settings, and check “add manually”. This will ensure all tagged photos have to be approved before being added to the profile of the tagged user.

Instagram Direct

Instagram Direct, a feature that was released just last year, may seem innocuous. It is an easy way for individuals you do not know to privately contact a user, especially if they are sharing photos through the Explore feature using hashtagsHashtags allow users to search for pictures that have been posted using specific hashtags, like #dogsofinstagram. The searching user can choose to send a picture directly to any user they find, along with a caption.

Staying Safe in Instagram Direct: These direct messages are much like messages on Facebook or private e-mails. To keep kids safe by keeping an eye on their direct messages. You should also regularly check to ensure their profile is private. While general profile information can be seen by anyone with Instagram, a private profile won’t share any photos with individuals who are not already approved.

The “photo map” and “tagged” tabs can’t be seen with a private profile either. If your child gets an inappropriate direct message, simply report the inappropriate content and block the offending Instagram user. Instagram will deal with all appropriate content.

The Bottom Line

Instagram can be a fun, engaging and interesting way for kids to interact with friends and family, but Instagram can also be used for nefarious purposes. To ensure your child is safe on social media, whether it is Instagram or Twitter, you should first speak with your child about the associated dangers of these social media sites. You should also have a discussion about appropriate and inappropriate content.

Parents Must Get Involved In Mobile and Internet Child Safety

Even though many parents understand that they should use parental controls on their home computer, many never establish a means for getting the job done.  According to a McAfee survey, most parents left their kids alone while surfing the internet and over half the parents surveyed didn’t know if their kids had a social networking account, like Facebook. Another study indicated that approximately 72 percent of teens do have social networking profiles and almost half of them are public profiles viewable by anyone.

Parents must realize that Internet security is needed across multiple devices. With the advancements in technology, children have Internet access on smartphones, iPads, tablets and other mobile devices. Mobile technology can expose children to not only the good, but also all of the bad on the Internet.  We must look at privacy settings and how all of these devices are set up.

Personal monitoring of mobile devices isn’t always possible since, kids use them on the way to school and even while school is in session.  We really do need to educate our children rather than being helicopter parents. It is all very well putting in software to monitor, but this is the same principle as putting a camera on their head when they are out with friends.

Turning the Tide

The best way to protect your children is to keep an open line of communication in which both you and your children clearly understand some of the very dangerous situations that could be presented online. By downloading Gooseberry Planet this will help your child be educated on online safety issues.

They also need to know what kind of personal information is being published publicly online. Children need to know that telling parents about inappropriate contact with someone on the Internet is appreciated and will not result in a restriction of their cell phone usage.