Young People’s Promises

March 30, 2015

The brilliant annual Safer Internet Day took place in February this year, the team behind it have launched this great video of young people’s promises. This can be an activity for any group to recreate with adults too. Everyone of course has a role in creating a safer internet! Well done though to the UK Safer Internet Centre.

#Up2Us, a film made by over 150 schoolchildren about their online experiences – both good and bad – which aims to inspire young people across the UK to do something kind online this Safer Internet Day. The film features children from schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and will be premiered at events across the UK 


Viral Pictures as an E-Safety Activity

March 4, 2015



In Highland, we’re in the process of revamping a number of our E-Safety activities and resources guidance. Rather than focus on some key resources we’re putting the emphasis on Digital Literacy Skills linked to significant aspects of learning. Skills that can underpin lifelong behaviours and habits no matter what platforms or faddy apps come and go. We particularly like some of the progression frameworks that are provided in the 360 degree safe tool.

One activity we will not be recommending that teachers carry out is the ‘please like this picture and share it so my  class can see how far it goes’ activity. Why? Well here’s a few thoughts… Approaches that emphasise that privacy settings are not a safeguard for inappropriate content or guaranteed confidentiality still remain key. However, although this is a well intended activity, it really does not facilitate the development of essential skills, it is more of a shock based approach, but it is flawed from the outset.

The image comes with an explicit plea / suggestion / command to ‘like and share’, friends, friends of friends etc will naturally feel more compelled to share  – it therefore really does not present a meaningful example of a photo being liked and shared on its own merit. To that end it’s a bit like the old fashioned chain letter. If you want an example of something genuinely going unintentionally viral just look at the recent black and blue / white gold image.

The activity has the potential to cause distress and upset to the teacher  as this recent example highlights. It is a reminder that pictures can be augmented yes, but no educational activity should ever place a teacher or educational professional in a situation of distress.

As part of our approach we ask everyone to become good role models, everyone has a role in creating a safer internet, not contributing to ever increasing unnecessary spam type reposts furnishing the ever present echo chambers that many news feeds have become. The idea that technology can offer opportunities for learners to be creative, develop their own individuality and content is much much more exciting.

Thanks to Simon Finch (Digitally Confident) for kicking off these discussions.