The Network Information Security in Education, 2012 report by the European Network and Information Security Agency outlines the role educators can play in teaching positive and responsible online behaviour to students.
The report stresses the importance of not making assumptions about children’s knowledge on e-Safety issues due to the many misconceptions which exist about appropriate use of the Internet. Issues which educators are likely to be aware of, such as keeping passwords secure and not downloading copyright material, may be viewed quite differently by students. Many teenagers share passwords with each other as a sign of true friendship and many see internet content as public property and download music, videos and images without a thought of the legal issues of copyright.
The report sets out ways educators can help children use technology wisely and safely:
- Making sure that the school has a set of robust policies and practices and that their effectiveness is reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.
- Ensuring that everyone is aware of the acceptable use policy and its use. It is important to have an AUP which should be age-appropriate.
- Checking that the school’s anti-bullying policy includes references to bullying over the Internet and via mobile phones or other devices and that there are effective sanctions in place for breaching the policy.
- Appointing an e-safety coordinator.
- Making sure that the school network is safe and secure.
- Ensuring that an accredited Internet service provider is used.
- Using a filtering/monitoring product.
- Delivering e-safety education to all children and specifying where, how and when it will be delivered.
- Making sure that all staff (including support staff) have been adequately trained and that their training is updated on a regular basis.
- Having a single point of contact in the school and being able to collect and record e-safety incidents which will give the school a better picture of any issues or trends which need to be addressed.
- Ensuring that the management team and school governors have an adequate awareness of the issue of e-safety.
- Having a regular audit of all e-safety measures.
“Schools have the opportunity to transform education and help pupils to fulfil both their potential and to raise standards with ICT’s.”