Continuing its quest in engaging students and supporting teachers with constructive and easy-to-use tools for identifying the best practices and importance of online safety, the not-for-profit organisation, the London Grid for Learning (LGfL), has launched a brand new platform targeted to start a new conversation based around trust, and presents realistic examples for classes to discuss and challenge.
Officially launched at the end of last month, Trust Me – which is available as a free online resource for schools across the country – was developed in conjunction with its continued work alongside Childnet International, focusing on ‘provoking discussion’ among students; critically analysing the content they see and the communication they have with others online.
Formed as two sets of lesson plans – one aimed at upper key stage 2 (KS2) primary students and the other intended for key stage 3 (KS3) secondary students – the primary packs consist of two separate parts. The first is ‘Content’; two lessons covering critical thinking around online content such as blogs, online adverts and websites. The second is ‘Contact’; how others use tactics to persuade individuals to download a file or follow a link. Secondary students can expect the inclusion of ‘Propaganda’ to the lesson agenda, where open discussions on matters including; the differences between fact and opinion; understanding propaganda techniques and recognising their use in online content; and recognising possible motives to why someone may decide to contact them is greatly encouraged.
Pursuing the topical theme of online safety, ‘Counter-Extremism – narratives and conversations‘, is an additional free online resource launched by the LGfL last July and comprises a series of short videos featuring Sara Khan, the director of the women’s rights and counter-extremism organisation, Inspire. In each video, Khan details the context behind the radicalisation threat and provides tips for teachers on how to start an open dialogue with their classes on extremism. Launched in accordance with the Security Act 2015, the resource stresses that teachers can ask general questions to classes about the treatment of women, human rights or the issue of violence in order to allow students to start questioning extremist practices.
CEO of the LGfL, John Jackson, explains how fundamental it is for the organisation to continue its work on online safety: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity for another partnership with Childnet. Critical thinking skills are essential in the online arena, and Trust Me is a valuable tool for teachers as they support a new generation of digital citizens. One of our key priorities is to safeguard children and schools, and we’re very proud of the groundbreaking work we’ve done with Sara Khan on combatting extremism, and of our work with the Home Office and other government agencies to develop products and content that supports schools tackling online bullying.”
Centred around eight significant ‘e-safety’ themes consisting; settings, privacy, looking, share, playing, talking, friends and money, CyberPass, which is targeted to key stage 2 students, helps teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses from the first instance with the use of quizzes based on the eight ‘e-safety’ themes. The results can then be viewed via a dashboard, where analysis of progress by competence and/or question can be analysed by teachers. After answering each question, students are then given immediate feedback on whether a question was answered correctly or incorrectly correctly, and an incorrect answer will trigger another question related to the same theme.
Although the crucial topic of online safety has always been ‘a part of the DNA’ of LGfL ever since it was founded in 2001, its commitment to sustaining high-speed internet connections is also a top priority, not just for educational institutes, but for the public sector as a whole, as Jackson comments: “The SuperCloud will enable cloud and shared services that will support devolution, health and social care integration, and multi-agency safeguarding hubs, as well as digital delivery. Other public bodies can harness that capability. Through the wide range of services it provides, including the London Public Service Network, there is a real opportunity for LGfL to play a true enabling role, driving innovation and helping lower costs across these crucial and complex areas of the public sector.”
To discover more of the LGfL online safety resources, click here