Locking Google SafeSearch

May 31, 2010

How to lock Google SafeSearch.

SafeSearch lets you filter sexually explicit web sites and images from your search results. You can lock your setting to the strict level of filtering using a password.

To use SafeSearch lock, go to the “Search Settings” page on Google.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Locking Google SafeSearch“, posted with vodpod

Highland Wins National Internet Safety Competition!

May 20, 2010

Earlier this year the Scottish Government announced the launch of an action plan and marketing campaign to improve the safety of children on the internet and prevent problems such as cyber bullying, internet fraud and online grooming, the action plan can be found here.

Part of the campaign included an ‘Internet Safety Competition’ which ran in conjunction with Young Scot and Learning and Teaching Scotland in order to find new and original resources for use in Scotland.

The Highland Council’s entry from their Education, Culture and Sport Service was chosen as overall winner in its category and will now be used as a national resource.  The winning resource is a play which toured Highland secondary schools in February.  ‘The Cyber Room’ performance shows the developments after four 15 year-olds meeting in an internet chat-room.

The development of the play was facilitated by Highland Council, Education, Culture and Sport Service staff. The judges were particularly impressed by how the content and tone of the performance had been developed; the number of children who had seen the play already; and their positive reaction to such challenging material.

Key messages that the play aims to convey are: the importance of using the internet responsibly; to encourage pupils think more carefully about they are talking to online; and to know where they can report someone whose behaviour online is causing them concern.

Using drama as a tool in communicating and exploring sensitive issues has proven very successful for past initiatives in Highland (such as smoking awareness, mental health and self harm awareness and careers opportunities to name a few) and as internet safety is such a pertinent and key issue for young people at the moment the Highland Council chose to use the powerful arts medium to look at issues around internet safety and cyber bullying.

Eden Court’s Education Department was approached to discuss the possibilities of developing a bespoke piece of theatre to look at the internet safety and cyber bullying, subsequently, ‘The Cyber Room’ idea was developed.

The creation of the script was informed by Internet Safety training delivered by Louise Jones, Health Promoting Schools Manager. The training was an essential part of the script development as it ensured that the piece enhanced and complimented the wider messages and training being communicated and delivered in schools for Internet Safety.

The play was offered to all 29 secondary schools in Highland.  27 schools took the play which was shown to S1 and S2 pupils (S3 to S6 pupils saw the piece in a few schools).  A total of 30 performances took place with over 2,400 pupils benefiting from the performance and workshop.

An extensive evaluation took place, with all audience members and teachers asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of each performance

Pupils said that they had learned:

  • “Not to talk to strangers online and don’t give away any personal details.”
  • “That there’s a lot of report buttons on different sites to keep you safe.”
  • “…about cyber bullying and how to avoid it.”
  • “…how serious bullying can get.”
  • “to tell somebody truthfully if you are getting bullied.”

Teachers commented that they “…valued this as a parent and think other parents should see it”; and learned “…not to take young people’s ability to be responsible for granted”.

When asked if they thought that using drama was an effective way of communicating about issues for young people, pupils agreed:

  • “Yes, it’s a more interesting way to learn.”
  • “…because it is better than just saying don’t do this, don’t do that.”
  • because “…instead of hearing about it you can see it.”

Teachers added:

  • “All the issues are very real for some of our pupils and the play will provide a good basis for further discussion.”
  • “Drama is hard hitting and brings home to pupils the realities of what can happen on line.  Far better than us boring them with dos and don’ts.”
  • “Very powerful dramatisation of an emotive issue and one we constantly have to deal with in school.”

The Highland Council’s Youth Convener Magnus Monahan, has been part of the development of the strategy for all Internet Safety and Responsible Use work in Highland and fully supported the application for the Internet Safety Competition, He said: “I think the play is a very powerful way of getting across the message about the impact your online activities can have.”

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education Culture and Sport Service Committee said: “I’m delighted to see the innovative ways our staff seek to educate young people on keeping safe online being recognised at a national level. This is a perfect example of education, leisure and arts working effectively together to create new and exciting resources. Congratulations to all involved.”

For further information please contact: Louise Jones Health Promoting Schools Manager or Lynn Johnson, Arts Links Officer tel: (01463) 702000.

Dealing with Inappropriate Comments on Rate My Teacher

May 19, 2010

Technology offers fantastic opportunities for children, young people and professionals. However, technology can be misused and this can be very painful for those who are targets of Cyberbullying.

Advice on ‘Rate My Teachers’

This is a global website where anonymous comments or ratings can be left for teachers by selecting the school where they teach. If anyone finds a comment that they find breaks the rules of the site or causes offence of any kind, you are able to remove this comment yourself immediately and it will be removed pending review. You can do this by ‘flagging’ the comment and selecting from a drop down menu why the comment does not follow the rules of the site.

You are able to do this without being a member of ‘Rate My Teachers’ or logging in to the site.  In Highland, it is still important to report this to the Head Teacher who may wish to notify Cyberbullying@highland.gov.uk

A specific support facility in Highland has been set up for those children, young people and staff who may find themselves targeted by Cyberbullying. Incidents of Cyberbullying should be managed according to the Cyberbullying Guidance and by using the dedicated email address Cyberbullying@highland.gov.uk

Teacher Support Scotland also have useful advice that can be found here

All education resources for ‘Internet Safety and Responsible Use’ in Highland including educating children and young people about the consequences of Cyberbullying are promoted through this Highland E-Safety site. You may wish to look at what can be done to create a culture within the learning community where everyone is advised and understands how to use the internet safely and responsibly using some of the recommended resources.

For further information in Highland please contact:

  • Louise Jones – Health Promoting Schools Manager
  • Jim Henderson – Virtual Learning Co-ordinator
  • Stewart Fraser – Legal Manager, Litigation and People

Keep your password like your toothbrush!

May 17, 2010

This wordle pic is of the most common passwords used! Not hard to crack really.  It’s vitally important that in any e-safety work taking place you remember to highlight the importance of password data.

Here’s a few pointers to help discussions with children and young people.

  • Keep your password like your toothbrush (or your pants) change them often and never share them!
  • Not sharing your password with your friend doesn’t mean that you don’t trust that person, it’s for yours and their protection so that if your account was hacked they wouldn’t be under suspicion!
  • Increase your password strength, keep your passwords a very random mix of letters (capitals too) and numbers.
  • Quite often password hackers can look at profile data and look for words such as pet’s names or siblings / loved ones, these are sometimes the questions websites ask you as security questions! So keep really personal information to yourself and not on your profile.
  • Hackers are not only people, there are types of technological robots that access a login and try millions of different variations of popular passwords, again reason to use a password very random and complex.
  • People unfortunately do break friends, relationships end. If that sadly happens to you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse does know your passwords be sure to change them immediately.
  • I know it’s a pain to remember but don’t use the same password for all your logins, vary them and change often.  If someone hacks one account, can they hack into another account too?
  • Having a secure password doesn’t mean that your account is completely safe, remember that if you are on shared computers or leave yourself logged in to a public machine, you could leave yourself and your data wide open.

If you have any other suggestions please let us know, have you devised a lesson about this? If so, can we share your plans and evaluations using our GLOW group? This is covered in many of the CEOP resources, but why not create your own? These are the experiences and outcomes this applies to.

Health and Wellbeing – Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical Wellbeing

“I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible”.


“By considering ways to protect technological devices, I can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate”.

“I am developing my knowledge and use of safe and acceptable conduct as I use different technologies to interact and share experiences, ideas and information with others”.

NB Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. www.wordle.net

Cyberbullying. Latest research from USA.

May 10, 2010

Smokescreen – New Resource for Promoting Safety Online

May 6, 2010

“You don’t know me, but I know you…”

In Highland, the E-Safety folk are always on the look out for new and exciting resources. This new game could be just perfect for use in a wide range of settings with young people. It was created by a company called ‘Six to Start’ for Channel 4.

Smokescreen is a cutting-edge game about life online. We all use Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and MSN to keep up with our mates – and we’ve all heard the stories about parties on Facebook being mobbed, or people getting stalked on MSN. The question is, what would you do if it happened to you?

Over 13 missions, Smokescreen follows the story of Max Winston and Cal Godfrey, two mates who’ve set up an exclusive social network called White Smoke. After Cal’s involved in a car accident and falls into a coma, White Smoke becomes huge – and starts attracting huge problems. Each mission sees you explore the world of White Smoke, and find out who you can trust – and who you can’t.

If you have a go at this game, please let us know what you think? Can it contribute to any of the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes….?

A quick reminder….

Health and Wellbeing – Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical Wellbeing

“I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible”.


“By considering ways to protect technological devices, I can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate”.

“I am developing my knowledge and use of safe and acceptable conduct as I use different technologies to interact and share experiences, ideas and information with others”.