I had the opportunity to present at the Brighton ISC Digital EdTech summit during the week. My talk, “Common Sense Safeguarding” focussed on the need for schools to take a broad and more risk based view of online safety as opposed to the previous more compliance driven approach. Given the number and range of technologies students have access to and also the tools available to bypass protective measures put in place by a school, or even the ability to negate them totally through using 4G, online safety is no longer as simple as it once was. This therefore needs a broader view to be taken.
In addition, I identified that in our dealing with Online Safety we are not yet effectively addressing the issues which are growing with our increasing use of digital resources and services. Cyber security, big data, profiling, artificial intelligence and bias, ethics of IT systems and similar broad topics don’t yet have a key place in the general curriculum albeit opportunities exist across different subjects. We need to ensure these issues are discussed with all students. It was to that end that I proposed a cross school discussion group focussed on Digital Citizenship.
Overall my view is one that we need to be more aware of the limitation of preventative measures such as web filtering plus need to focus more on user awareness and having discussions with students regarding the wider implications of staying safe and being successful in a digital world.