Friday, 10 February 2012

Safer Internet Day 2012

I am sure many of you will already know that it was Safer Internet Day (SID) this week (Feb 7th ). SID always falls on the second month, on the second week and on the day of each year.

This years theme is ‘Connecting generations and educating each other’, and their slogan is "Discover the digital World together…safely!"

To highlight this year’s Safer Internet Day John Dalziel and the team from RSC North West have put together a collection of resources which look at eReputation, communicating using social media, and personal safety. The resources produces are both thought provoking and informative. To find out more follow this link provided

Please remember I am here to offer free advice and guidence relating to mobile learning and eSafety to the post education sector in the West Midlands and surrounding counties.For more information contact me via

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

All New Tablet Project

As we all continue to experience the government’s austerity measures, the evaluation and acquisition of new technologies can sometimes fall by the wayside. If only there was a way that learning providers could access a collection of cutting-edge pieces of technology to evaluate their relevance and suitability to support business objectives...for free?!

Well, due to the recent success of our mobile technologies project we have elected to once again provide a similar opportunity to all sectors in a new initiative, our Tablet Devices Project.

For this project we are now looking for learning providers who wish to explore a variety of popular tablets devices and to see how these might benefit their own organisation. There are six brands of tablet devices available, each with differing features and specifications. This is to offer providers the opportunity to evaluate a number of sizes, specifications, and models.

Learning providers will be able to loan a set of five different devices for a period of six weeks. During this time you are encouraged to use them with staff and learners and at the end of the period feedback your findings to us via a short survey. RSC staff will support you throughout the duration of the project and via our usual support channels and answer any queries you may have about the devices.

At the end of the period, the tablet devices must be returned to us. At that stage we hope you will be better informed as to their potential and perhaps in a position to make your own purchasing choices should you wish to do so.

Who can apply?
This initiative is open to all of our supported learning providers; all that is required is a willingness to see what tablet devices can do for you, and to complete a short survey at the end which will be used to feedback your findings.

Where can I find out more?
A wiki page has been created to offer further information about the project. Here you can find out more about the aims of the project, which devices are available, how to apply and how to gain access to a number of tools and resources to support you during your evaluation of the equipment.

Who can I speak to?
For any queries relating to this project please contact:

Theresa Welch, eLearning Advisor - Work Based Learning,
Tel: 01902 518976,

Jason Curtis, Learning Technologies & Information Officer,
Tel: 01902 518986,

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Munch, Poke, Ping

Vulnerable Young People, Social Media and E-Safety

I thought it was worth putting a post together based on a Guardian article entitled “Mobile phones have they made some young people more vulnerable than ever”.

The article examines the issues surrounding young vulnerable people using smart phone technologies to access and use online social media platforms.

The heart of this article is a report entitled Munch, Poke, Ping! Which focuses on vulnerable young people, social media and e-safety and was commissioned by the UK government’s Training and Development Agency (TDA) and authored by Stephen Carrick-Davies.

Many professionals working with vulnerable young people who were interviewed for the report said that for these young people, the mobile phone has become the single most important activity that gives identity, connection and a sense of community. Indeed, with the array of apps and features on smart phones, such as private message services (BlackBerry Messenger, for example), the opportunity to poke (a virtual nudge to draw attention), ping (broadcast to many) or use "munch" apps (which grab and save what's on the screen), is it any wonder that the mobile has become a young person's portable, private and personal life-support system?

In the report, it is argue that the technology no longer simply mirrors or amplifies offline interactions and communications. The new social web has changed the platform to that of an incubator; it is a place where communication is captured, aggregated, added to, morphed, changed and re-hatched as a new broadcast or ping. Those with the skill and confidence to narrate their lives online, manage their reputation, mitigate the risks and build up resilience, may well be able to survive and thrive. Those who have few supportive adults, low levels of literacy and are unsupervised and vulnerable to abuse, are far less confident and hence more at risk.

The report goes on to say that "
Better training and support for staff working with vulnerable young people would help protect them from risky situations online. It is time to embed e-safety within the wider teaching of emotional, social and digital literacies. A new three Rs of literacy would help us to understand the risks, better manage online reputations and together build resilience to cope with the contradictions and opportunities of the online world".

Futher resources associated with the Munch, Poke, Ping project include:

Full findings, recomendations and resources.

Full report

It is well worth taking the time to read the Guardian article, read Munch, Poke, Ping and to check out Stephens blog.


Monday, 9 May 2011

Esafety in Discover-e 2011

This year 2 day online conference is shaping up to be the best yet!
over the two days (May 17th - 18th) we have a great variety of session including:

- Esafety a Learning Providers Journey.
- Meeting your eSafety Duties.
- Tablet PCs for Remote Learning.
- Learning to Listen: Implementing Learner Voice.
- Embedding Technology into Teacher Training.
- Doing More With Less.
- Moving Centre Stage: Placing your Library at the Heart of Teaching and Learning.
- Going Green. Green ICT.

I have to admit I have a slight bias toward the first two sessions on my list (not on conference running order) as I have worked very closely with both speakers on their presentations and I know we have a real treat in-store!

To find out more about this year’s conference click me!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wiki Crazy!

It would be fair to say that over the past few weeks I have gone Wiki crazy with much of my time being devoted towards the development two eSafety wiki sites. Thankfully most of the hard work it now done and I can tell you about what I have been up to.

The first wiki out of the starting blocks is an eSafety wiki I have developed to support my role as the RSC eSafety Advisor for the West Midlands. The wiki is called eResponsibility it has been designed around the PIES model (Policy, Infrastructure, Education, Standards) and it holds lots of informative resources and is packed with lots of helpful information and guidance including sample policies and teaching resources.

The second wiki (now in the pilot stage) is a national eSafety resource designed to raise eSafety awareness and promote eResponbility within the post 16 education sector. This site contain lots of useful eSafety related information focusing on the operational and strategic eSafety considerations all learning providers need to be aware of.
Once the pilot stage is complete and final changes have been made to the site I will let you know when it is publicly available.

If you want to learn moe about this post please get in touch.

Monday, 14 February 2011


I received a Tweet this morning from our colleagues at RSC Wales about a really interesting saferguarding article on the LSIS Excellence Gateway.
The article examines the importance of getting your safeguarding provision right and how getting it wrong can effect your organisation when under inspection.

There are lots of useful tips included in the article as well as reallife examples of inspection outcomes and links to useful rescources. If you have 5 minutes to spare this week read this article!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Last week I had the opportunity to attend E-Safety Live in Dorset. I would like to say it was an enjoyable break in this idyllic county where I consumed lots of Badgers beer, seafood and ice cream!
Sadly it was a 242 mile round trip and home in time for a late dinner.

The event run by South West Grid for Learning (swgfl) focused on protecting your professional online identity. The day had a great mix of sessions including:

* Identifying the professional risks
* What is the police response?
* Every Teacher Matters
* Copyright Infringement
* Employment Law
* Data Protection
* Privacy and Defamation
* Using Social Networking Sites Professionally and Managing Risk
* Managing your Personal Privacy Settings – Your Digital Footprint
* Incident Management
* Tools and Resources.

Thing that I really found interesting about this event was it focused on the safety of professional and the institution and by listening and watch the other delegates in the room it was easy to see a large number seemed very concerned over how exposed they are online even though they consider themselves to be tech-savvy.

One slide in particular within the Managing your Personal Privacy Settings – Your Digital Footprint presentation that caught my eye shows the levels of private information available to ANYONE unless careful attention is applied to your privacy settings within Facebook. It was very worrying to see how Facebook have altered the way default privacy settings have been configured are over the past 5 years. The following diagram was produced by Matt Mckeon depicts this change. This is well worth including in any eSafety training session you run for staff, students or the SMT?

I have to say I really got a lot out of the day and I now have access to all of the resources used on the day! If you want to find out more please get in touch .

Before signing off I have to mention 360 degrees safe. It is an online tool designed by swgfl which provides a user friendly and interactive means for learning providers to review their eSafety provision and to develop an action plan to bring about improvements. The tool is currently free of charge to learning providers on completion of a simple registration process. Although the tool was originally designed for the schools sector swgfl will allow post 16 learning providers from across the country to utilise the tool.

Further eSafety information is available on the RSC WM WIKI for those that are interested.