Ready to speak to SID on February 6! Safer Internet Day is just around the corner

It’s always the first online safety date in the calendar but sneaks up on us every year, so here’s a (hopefully useful) round-up of what’s going on this year for Primary and Secondary schools. This year, the theme is “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you.”

It’s worth a quick reminder of why it’s important. We don’t want schools or pupils to only think about online safety on one day per year, and we don’t want to detract from the vital flow of positive messages that teachers work on all year long. Nonetheless, we are fully behind Safer Internet Day as a celebration of all that is good about the internet and the digital world our children and young people are growing up in.

What’s happening in my area?
If you want a certificate of participation for your school in Safer Internet Day (and why wouldn’t you!!), why not register what you are doing on the official site? On that same page there is a UK map to check out physical events taking place in your area.

Are there official SID Education Packs?
Yes of course, as every year, the amazing Safer Internet Centre team have put together Education Packs and SID TV films which focus on online relationships and digital empathy. These include lesson plans, activities, and films tailored for 3-7s, 7-11s, 11-14s, 14-18s and for parents and carers. Lots to get your digital teeth stuck into

What about LGfL DigiSafe?
This is the point at which we normally point to CyberPass, our online-safety diagnostic tool which all LGfL TRUSTnet schools have access to – find out more here. It’s great for taking a snapshot of competencies to inform teaching & learning.

But actually this year we are focussing all our efforts on running a major UK-wide pupil survey with the NSPCC. It’s open from Y3 (recommended from Y5) to Y11, with slightly different questions for Secondaries, and is a great activity for Safer Internet Day – but fear not, it’s open for the whole of February so you don’t have to do it on SID itself. It doesn’t cost anything to take part in the survey, but you do need to sign up first. Find out all about it (including all the work we have done to make sure it conforms to safeguarding and data-protection best-practice) at pupilsurvey.lgfl.net

Whatever you do this Safer Internet Day, we’d love to hear about it. Tweet us at @lgfldigisafe (or share with us on Facebook) and let us know how it goes – and remember the hashtags #SID2018 and #SaferInternetDay too!

Demos launches technology briefing on child sexual abuse imagery

Last night I attended the Westminster launch of a new ‘Technology Briefing Series’ from cross-party think-tank Demos. The first paper in this series was a joint effort with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and covered the topic of Online Child Sexual Abuse Imagery (CSAI). The briefing comes while the Government is currently considering responses to the recent green paper on the Internet Safety Strategy, which contained a number of proposals for social media companies in particular “to do more”. The event included a panel discussion with Jamie Bartlett, MPs Yvette Cooper and Vicky Ford, Karim Palant from Facebook and Andrew Puddephatt, the new IWF Chairperson.



The event and the report celebrated the fact that IWF has been instrumental in ensuring that less than 0.1 percent of CSAI content is now hosted in the UK, down from 18 percent in 1996! Alex Krasodomski-Jones from Demos, said: “Technology policy is challenging: it tests our ability as a society and democracy to grapple with difficult problems and find sensible solutions. Demos is committed to improving the public conversation around these issues, to bringing expert voices to the debate, and to help inform difficult decisions. In partnership with the IWF, we are calling for a better dialogue between politicians, experts, the media and the public around technology, its impact on our lives and our democracy. In doing so, we hope to encourage good solutions to complicated issues.”

But as Jamie Bartlett pointed out, whilst it is a hard truth to accept, “the problem is not going to go away”. You can view the full report here, which is definitely worth a read. It tells how the fight against online child sexual abuse content is being won in the UK, but the global threat remains as big as ever.


The speakers at the event yesterday highlighted how the fight against CSAI images is very different to the fight against radical or extremist text, images or videos, largely because of the lack of clarity and legal frameworks and definitions. Yet at the same time, it was pointed out that there were clear lessons to be learned from this area, for example, on how processes and technologies developed by experts at IWF and Microsoft ensure that an image or video, once flagged, cannot resurface (Yvette Cooper MP pointed that this the case currently for certain far-right material).

There was plenty of food for thought from the panelists that I will be digesting over coming months in terms of hate speech and radicalisation. For example, Yvette Cooper pointed out that due to automatic ‘learning’ from our online searches, “In some cases the algorithms are doing the radicalising”. Andrew Puddephatt: “Algorithms don’t do context, it’s important a human analyst makes the decisions about what should or should not be removed. Those analysts should be supported and accountable.”

And as Jamie Bartlett pointed out, “It’s not always radical content that radicalises people; it can be very ordinary things”.

 

Enough from me now – head over to read the Demos report here!

Wanted: Secondary schools to feed back on Internet Safety Strategy

Update – 23/01/2018 – this consultation is now closed

Government’s consultation on the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper – opportunity for secondary schools to participate (via telephone dial in)

LGfL TRUSTnet held a series of successful teacher focus groups with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DMCS) before Christmas in London and Liverpool to garner opinions on internet safety in schools and to feed back on the proposed internet safety strategy. The official online consultation is closed, but there is still an opportunity (Secondary schools only this time) to share their challenges and opportunities and help shape government strategy. Please share! The following text from DCMS has all the details:

 


The Government’s Internet Safety Strategy published on 11th October and looks at how we can make Britain the safest place in the world for users to be online. We want everybody to be able to access the benefits of the internet without harm, and this means working together with a wide range of stakeholders to develop safer online communities and empowering citizens to manage risks and stay safe online.

We know that schools play a critical role supporting children when they have suffered online harms. The Strategy sets out how DCMS and DfE will work together to ensure support for schools on these issues. We recognise that companies also have a responsibility for conduct and content on their products and platforms and are therefore setting stretching objectives for industry on tackling online harms.

We’d like to get school staff (i.e teachers, teaching assistants, wellbeing staff) views on the full range of proposals in the Strategy and are therefore conducting focus groups across the whole of the UK. Schools will be credited for their contribution to the consultation (/not referenced, as preferred).

If you would like to take part please contact internetsafetystrategy@culture.gov.uk, stating your role, school & availability to attend one session via telephone dial in from the following:

    • Friday 19th January 4-5pm
    • Monday 22nd January 4-5pm
    • Wednesday 24th January 4-5pm
    • Thursday 25th January 12-1pm