(e) Safeguarding – a 3600 view

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Robert Bashforth, Senior Consultant Technological Innovation

imageOur Curriculum ICT (CICT) Team, working through the Bradford Innovation Centres, are all (e)Safety trained (many to CEOP Ambassador and 360 e-Safe Assessor level) and we support all school stakeholder groups, council teams and organisations to ensure that everyone can enjoy our ICT and media-rich society, and use technologies to enhance learning and working in safe and responsible ways.

The team support Strategic Leaders (including school Governors) in dealing with the policies, infrastructure and education that they need to put in place to ensure (e)Safety at a personal, organisational, network and data security level. We support teachers to continually find ways of conveying important (e)Safeguarding messages in different situations and contexts to underpin essential third millennium learning skills that are needed by students and stakeholders, such as making informed choices, being discerning about information, and being cautious with their personal information. We also support teaching staff and professionals to be aware of their own online reputation and digital professionalism.

Curriculum ICT support parents to understand the risks their children may be exposed to, and how they can supervise and support their children effectively. We also encourage them to fully support the (e)Safeguarding vision and aims of their child’s school and contribute positively to its realisation and success.

We support young people to develop their critical thinking skills so they are able to evaluate the way they use technology at home and at school, identify risks and develop ways to balance those risks with any benefits. We encourage schools to incorporate their students’ skills in defining and implementing the (e) Safeguarding agenda. We can also support organisations with their policies, audits and technical know-how and offer training around (e) Safety, Digital Professionalism and Data Security.

Any of the above stakeholders or groups can request an initial (e)Safeguarding Health Check (approx 1.30 – 2.00 hours). Whatever their starting point, we will meet with key Strategic Leaders (in any phase or organisation) to identify strategy, policies and procedures helping them to create a coherent plan to ensure that their school or organisation is well underway on its (e)Safeguarding journey.

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We recommend that any Strategic Leader has a clear strategy in place which takes a whole-school or organisation approach to (e)Safeguarding; planning, prioritising, resourcing, identifying roles and responsibilities etc. A range of appropriate policies need to be in place covering both technical and behavioural issues: for example, policies on Acceptable Use; Use of Mobile Devices; Public-Facing Communications; Data Protection and Risk Assessment etc. Coherent workable procedures need to be in place which the appropriate people are aware of and have access to. Procedures need to cover areas such as: disclosures, issuing and keeping safe user names and passwords, incident reporting, removing malicious web comments, risk assessment procedures and classification of data etc. We always recommend that a school or organisation identifies any potential risks and then decides on the level of risk that they are prepared to take in their own unique context or setting.

Any school or organisation needs to have a prioritised, all-inclusive training plan or approach which embeds (e)Safety across all areas of the curriculum or throughout the working practices of the organisation. CPD in schools will probably include a range of approaches and audiences – students, teaching staff, support staff, senior leaders, governors, parents and carers. The CPD plan should cover awareness raising and education about (e)Safety issues such as stranger danger, cyber-bullying, sexting (a portmanteau of ‘sex’ and ‘text’), digital footprint, use of Social Media, netiquette, copyright, health & safety and may also include specific training on technical issues such as network security, deploying safe filtering or antivirus software, and implementing access controls.

The Curriculum ICT team ensure that there is a continual carousel of courses and IAG (information, advice & guidance) available from our Innovation Centre website (under provision/courses and events/latest news), or alternatively, schools or organisations can contact us to arrange in-house provision. We are continually developing new ways of working with federations and clusters of schools to facilitate joint practice transfer.

We highly recommend use of the Southwest Grid for Learning (SWGfL) 360 degree safe online self-review tool or Online Compass tool, which provides a user friendly and interactive means for schools and organisations to review their (e) Safety provision and to develop an action plan to bring about improvements. We are able to perform an assessment upon request that can lead to a prestigious accreditation.

We also highly recommend that all schools and organisations become familiar with CEOP’s age-related support materials which address many of the themes of (e) Safeguarding such as (e)Safety, Cyberbullying, Sexting and Digital Footprint. There are also many excellent support sites such as Digizen, Childline and the BBC and curriculum materials at ‘Common Sense Media’ which we continually signpost via our courses, handouts, marketing communications or websites etc. All of our team are members of, and contributors to, various professional organisations and social networks, which enable us to remain at the forefront of (e)Safeguarding developments. Crucial to our success has been making full use of young people’s digital skills and including them in the design of (e)Safety provision as Digital Leaders, Cybermentors or (e)Safety Ambassadors.

At CICT we consider ourselves to be an enthusiastic and creative team who are passionate about learning and innovation and try never to forget that the Internet and social media can provide us with a superb communication platform that can be used positively by individuals, schools and organisations if it is underpinned with caution, respect and professionalism.

About author:

Robert Bashforth, Senior Consultant Technological Innovation (Secondary), City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Robert is passionate about third millennium learning and has offered strategic support to many schools in the Bradford District in their use of innovative technologies to inspire creativity and independence in learners. Previously he worked in a national capacity as a Learning Consultant for the Building Schools for the Future program. Prior to this he worked as a Teaching and Learning Manager for ICT in a large Secondary School.
Twitter: @rbashforth

Stardoll – safer palying online

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Lidija Kralj & Nika Bender – Customer manager Croatia, Stardoll

Stardoll lutkeChildren’s safety on the Internet is common care for all of us. That topic lead me to the interview with international Stardoll team in which I found out interesting ways of handling interactive page for playing with great respect for children’s privacy and safety.

What is Stardoll, and who is your target audience?

Stardoll is the largest online community for girls who love fashion, shopping, decorating, creativity, and making new friends from around the world. Once they register an account on Stardoll, members create their own “avatar” – virtual doll, and can go shopping, play dress up, decorate their suite, express themselves creatively and socialize with other members. Stardoll is for everyone, but most of our users are between 7 and 17 years old.

I assume your users are mostly little girls, and they are the most sensitive group in the virtual environment. What do you do to protect them?

We want Stardoll to be a safe and secure site and we are doing everything we can do to reach that goal. We have filters to remove bad words; we have both automated as well as human moderators that go through the community parts of our site every day. In all community parts of the page we have very visible and easy to use reporting tools that allow users to report any bad content they come across to our Stardoll moderators. We also require all users under 13 to get parental consent to sign up as members to the site, so as to ensure that parents are aware of their child’s activities. Even then they have a special kind of membership which is called Kidsafe. As the Kidsafe members, they can’t write any content on their own and can’t access other users’ own written content. They also cannot communicate with other members using our message centre or any other forum.

We strongly encourage all parents to participate in their child’s Internet usage and make sure that they are aware of what their child is doing online. We also regularly inform all our members not to give out their personal details such as full name, real address, email or phone number during communication with other users.

Stardoll AB is a participant in the PRIVO Privacy Assurance Program. As part of the Privacy Assurance Program, Stardoll adheres to strict information collection, use and disclosure requirements. PRIVO is an independent third party organization committed to safeguarding children’s personal information collected online, and to helping parents and their children exercise control over personal information while exploring the Internet. The seal displayed on this page indicates that Stardoll has established privacy practices and has agreed to submit to PRIVO’s oversight and consumer dispute resolution process. PRIVO enables companies to create lifetime customer relationships through branded permission–management systems consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is a United States federal law.

What advice do you give to parents about ensuring their children’s privacy on your page?

As is the case in the real world, parents need to teach their child how to avoid risks and how to handle different situations. We would like to encourage parents to set up their own rules together with their child on how best use the computer and the Internet. By taking responsibility for their children’s online computer use, parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online. Our experience is that many of our young users are very aware of the ethics on the Internet and react when someone breaks the rules.

We have a special section for parents and teachers on Stardoll for instructions and answers on different questions about children’s safety and security on Stardoll – Stardoll’s Online Security Guide for Parents & Teachers

Do you think that the safety of kids online should be the obligation of companies that create content for children?

Our stand on this matter is that children’s online security is a responsibility for companies like ours. Parents, schools and communities should also participate in keeping the children safe on the Internet. Only when all the parties are involved, safety of the kids online can be ensured. Majority of our users are children and we believe it is our responsibility to help ensure their safety on Stardoll. We continuously strive to adhere to all EU laws and regulations regarding children’s online safety and we believe that we have achieved and maintained particularly high standards.

What kind of corporate social responsibility (CSR) should there be in the area of children’s security on Internet?

We regularly run campaigns, competitions/quizzes where the topic is security and safety on Stardoll. We are always trying to make content in our very unique “Stardoll style” with fun as the main emphasis so it is easily embraced by the users. On the page, we have the ever-active “Safety Quiz” where members have to answer questions correctly in order to get a diploma in their Stardoll suit. Along with that, there is also a “To report or not to report” quiz about the usage of our reporting system, which is designed to help them use it more efficiently. With that said, every year we support global campaigns like “Safer Internet Day” and “Anti-bullying week”.

Who manages that in your company?

Hrvatski tjedanWe have people from different departments in the company that work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our users is achieved. Our teams use their expertise in identifying and resolving issues in need of quick attention. All campaigns, together with socially responsible campaigns, target members worldwide – but they are also translated into various local languages for local accessibility.

We thank Stardoll team for willingness for this interview.

Check out playlist about e-safety on Stardolls YouTube channel.