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Event Report: e-Safety Workshop

11th May 2011
at Brettenham House, London WC2E 7EN.

"Very informative. Good mixture of legal aspects vs examples of good practice"
"It was excellent : very informative, busy and varied - just the way a good event should be"
"very informative + Good networking opportunity"
"Sharing experiences; learning how other colleges are approaching these issues" 
"Case studies and examples - good to see what others are doing - lots to take away and implement"

Keynote Presentation

Betty Willer, Legal Information Specialist, JISC Legal

Betty delivered an interactive session looking at why e-safety was important in the light of the Safeguarding agenda. The keynote evoked responses from delegates over a number of questions on current e-safety practices in their organisations.  The presentation covered the statutory and common law duties as providers had a "duty of care" to ensure safe and responsible use of their online communications technologies including mobile technologies. Using the JISC Legal's top 10 tips for an e-safety policy, Betty advised that an organisatrion's e-safety policy needs to link to other policies like the anti bullying policy. Colleges must also not forget part-time staff and students and to ensure that vulnerable adults and employees are included in the policy. The policy must be communicated to all users and a good thing to do is to involve students in looking at the impact of the policy. Key messages from Betty's presentation include:

  • Organisations must assess risks to take reasonable steps to stop incidents happening
  • Organisations can be liable for their learners' actions like posting to blogs and other media, so must have clear Acceptable Use Policy that covers all areas
  • Organisations should make every effort to monitor what is happening in their environment, there are technologies available to help organisations do this.
  • For incidents like cyberbullying, organisations can be liable if it knows that it is happening. Organisations must fulfil their duty of care towards the student being cyberbullied and other students for the consequences.
  • Harassment can be racial and can also be about a disability. Both are statutory criminal offences.
  • Learners can defame others by posting horrible things about them so the college has a duty of care, so students need to be aware of the consequences, they need clear policies that covers "harm to the college".
  • Data protection and privacy is another key area that organisations cannot overlook. Staff information handling must be via through a safe mechanism like encrypting data, which is a must. Data encryption rests with the employer. Thought must also be given to how students gather data and how to safely use technology to gather data.

Betty's presentation can be accessed and downloaded from the Resources section below.

Group Activity & Discussions

Following the keynote, Bernard Aghedo, Senior Adviser at JISC RSC London facilitated a group work activity. Delegates were separated into small groups to review some scenario based case studies. After lunch, there was feedback on the case studies in an open forum. The feedback provoked further discussions as delegates and presenters shared their views and perspectives on the scenarios. Delegates were largely agreed on the case studies but there were some where opinions differed which was justified given the approach and policy in place at the particular provider or organisation. The scenarios with the suggested answers can be downloaded from the Resources section below.

Provider Presentation 1: The College of North West London

Tony Delahunty, e-Learning Manager

Tony gave the first of two inputs from providers doing work to meet the Safegaurding/e-Safety agenda. e-Safety in CNWL has been given a high priority. Major efforts at pushing the agenda includes training for all Safeguarding staff and is part of the college's tutorial system supported by resources in their Moodle VLE. On the 2nd March this year, CNWL had an 'e-Safety Day' targeted at staff and students. The day was launched with a keynote address by the principal. The first half of the day was focused on students, turn out was good as was participation in the activities. The afternoon was staff focused on staff and had a training workshop facilitated by RSC London. Activities on the day included an e-safety quiz with prizes for top scores; discussion and promotion of CNWL's facebook site; promoting e-safety resources available online; e-safety handouts in leaflet form on the four themes covered on the day. Tony also gave delegates an opportunity to review the leaflets and to comment on how to improve them. Tony has kindly shared the leaflets with the community and they can be downloaded from the Resources section below as is Tony's presentation.

Provider Presentation 2: Newham College for Further Education

Sima Heer, Nasreen Bhatti and Wendy Gibson

Nasreen Bhatti - Learning Resources Manager, and two of the college's Study Coaches, Wendy and Sima gave a Newham College input. Introduced by Nasreen, Wendy and Sima gave the background and key objectives of the e-safety agenda in Newham FE. Wendy and Sima are trained CEOP Ambassadors and are now cascading the training to other staff and students. The key messages from their presentation include:

  • The aim is to provide confidence and clear messages about working safely online
  • To educate learners on e-safety, induction includes e-safety using an animation developed in-house, attending other e-safety workshops throughout the year, attending the Safer Internet Day event, etc.
  • There is use of technolgy to support their approach. Remote Ranger software is used for classroom management, to monitor what students are doing and students are made aware of this
  • Staff e-safety training is delivered by the e-learning team. Remote ranger training is also part of the training programme
  • They have a policy on clear lines of responsibility for safeguarding and have systems to monitor via audits and watchful study coaches to look at any e-safety issue
  • There is a REPORT ABUSE button in the home page of their VLE - NewLearning. The button invokes a form which when completed and sent goes directly to the safeguarding team
  • Make use of an incident book to record repetitive breaches and follow these up
  • Safeguarding is also done with vulnerable groups by working closely with the Additional Learning Needs team

As e-Safety is an integral part of the college's work and student's learning, e-safety was the theme for the college's annual ILCT Fair in 2010. Staff had to attend a mandatory workshop and students reinforced the messages by participating in the workshops. The presentation can be downloaded from the Resources section below.

Summary / Final thoughts:

In all, the workshop was a huge success. The feedback was very positive with everyone participating in the activities and engaging with others. Delegates seemed to enjoy a productive and a highly informative day with lots of opportunity to network, share and learn from each other in addition to the excellent legal input provided by JISC Legal. Clearly, there is scope for more regional events like this to continue this very informative and useful dialogue that we have started.

Bernard Aghedo, Senior Adviser, JISC RSC London

Workshop Resources

Betty Wilder's Presentation

Group Activity Case Studies

CNWL: Tony Delahunty's Presentation

CNWL: Chat Rooms & IM Leaflet

CNWL: CyberBullying Leaflet

CNWL: Facebook Leaflet

CNWL: Mobile Phones Leaflet

Newham FE: Sima Heer & Wendy Gibson's Presentation

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