ICT in the 21st Century is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults.
Consequently, Beaumont Hill strives wherever possible to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our young people with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.
Information and Communications Technology covers a wide range of resources including web-based and mobile learning. It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of ICT within our society as a whole. Currently the internet technologies children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:
· Email, Instant Messaging and chat rooms
· Social Media, including Facebook and Twitter
· Mobile/ Smart phones with text, video and/ or web functionality
· Other mobile devices including tablets and gaming devices
· Online Games
· Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments
· Blogs and Wikis
· Video sharing
· On demand TV and video, movies and radio / Smart TVs
Whilst exciting and beneficial both in and out of the context of education, much ICT, particularly web-based resources, are not consistently policed. All users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these internet technologies and that some have minimum age requirements (13 years in most cases).
In Beaumont Hill we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils on e-Safety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom. Our Emerging Technology lead is a trained CEOP Ambassador and is responsible for monitoring current e-Safety issues and ensuring staff, students and parents are confident with e-safety. Our VLE (FROG) site has its own online safety area where students can access up to date e safety information/fact sheets/online safety games and resources and more importantly easy access to the CEOP (Child Exploitation online protection) site where they can report online abuse. They can also report any online issues within the student portal and an alert email is sent to Clare Steed, The Emerging Technology Lead.
The NCA's CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. We protect children from harm online and offline, directly through NCA led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies.
It is also extremely important that careful
monitoring is also done at home. Many parents/carers can feel out of their depth in terms of their child’s online habits. Some useful conversation starters are:
1. Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
2. Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
3. Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
4. Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
5. Think about how you use the internet as a family. Set some ground rules. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online?
Current Warning- Police information- "Blue Whale"
The Police have asked that we circulate to all schools, a dangerous new game that has hit social media.
The Blue Whale game is a dangerous game that is popular at the moment in Russia and spreading across Eastern Europe.
The game is played online and spreads through social media.
Players are appointed a "master/teacher" and these "masters/teachers" challenge the players in stages, to tattoo a Blue Whale somewhere on the body, usually the arm or the leg. As the game goes on the players are encouraged to self-harm and the final challenge is to commit suicide.
All these actions have to be filmed and shared via social media to the so called "master/teacher". The game is being played by children of all ages, some as young as primary age, but predominantly by teenagers.
This obviously sets a worrying trend and it is believed that it has started to spread in the UK.
Please ensure you monitor your children’s internet usage closely and if you have any concerns at all about your child’s safety online you must alert the police. Do not hesitate to contact Clare Steed (Emerging technology lead) for further information.
Latest apps warnings
The police would like to raise a couple of apps in particular for your attention. These are ‘ICQ’ and ‘Live Camera Viewer’.
ICQ is an app that is very similar to Kik Messenger and allows free secure video chat, voice calls and syncing across multiple devices. The app also allows group chat and access to unlimited international chat rooms.
Live Camera Viewer is an app that lets you view the live video streaming from various surveillance cameras and IP cameras around the world. The following is a link to an article where a mother found the CCTV camera in her young daughter’s bedroom had been hacked and was being streamed online via the app:
Snapchat Warning - Police issue child safety warning over Snapchat maps update that reveals users' locations
"Snap Chat” a social media app, sometimes used by our students, introduced a new feature called “Snap Map.”
This location based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends. I’m sure you will agree that this is extremely dangerous. Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat - it is important that children do not share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person as this can allow people to pinpoint exactly where they are and build up a picture of where they live, go to school and spend their time. I would urge you to please talk to your child to check if they use Snap Chat and ensure that the settings are set to “Ghost Mode.” Ghost Mode means that you are the only person who can see your location on the map. Within Ghost Mode you can still see the locations of your friends but they will be unable to see you. This setting will ensure that you have complete control over who knows your location. On the map screen, tap the gear icon at the top. You can enable Ghost Mode in Snapchat from the settings screen that opens. When Ghost Mode is enabled, the location is hidden when Snap Chat is used.
Musical.ly App Warning
The following information is taken from the internet matters website.
Launched in 2014 Musical.ly describes itself as “the world’s fastest growing social network around music and lifestyle,” with over 70 million users (mostly based in the US).
What is the musical.ly’s Minimum age?
The Terms and Conditions don’t clearly specify but according to Common Sense Media 16+ would be recommended
How does it work?
Users or ‘Musers’ can create an account by using an email or their existing Facebook or Twitter account.
To create videos users can record themselves miming to along to music or record their own songs. The app allows them to speed up or slow down the video. Once their happy with the video it can be posted to their followers and shared on other networks like Facebook Messenger, Vine or WhatsApp.
Like other social networks, users can follow others, comment and like videos on the app. There is a search tool that allows users to watch other videos and search by trending hashtags (i.e. #UnitedKingdom). Hashtags are added to video when posting them.
Why do children love the app?
Many users of musical.ly otherwise known as ‘musers’ use the app because it helps them to ‘connect with friends, watch videos from other musers and showcase their creativity to the world.
The musical.ly community is made up of young and creative people who enjoy sharing their talents, gaining followers (or fans) and getting their content ‘featured’ so it can be seen by millions of musers.
What can you find on the app?
There are a range of videos showcasing comedy skits, lip syncing and a myriad of talents from singing to acrobatics.
What other parents say about the app?
According the Common Sense Media site, many parents believe that the app should be used by teens aged 16 year old and over. This is mainly due to the number of songs with sexual and explicit content featured on the app and the instance of inappropriate profile pictures and usernames being used. See full comments from parents.
Safety features- Blocking a user
If your child is receiving unwanted messages or comments, they can block the user on the app.
You can block a user by going to their profile and selecting the icon with three dots on the right hand corner and then choosing ‘block this user’.
Reporting inappropriate content
If your child comes across any content that is not appropriate they can press the icon with three dots on the side of the screen and select ‘report abuse’ from the list of options.
Some useful websites for parents/carers are:
To report online abuse please click the report abuse button on the following link
A copy of the E-Safety Policy can be found here EVAT E-Safety Policy.docx