Enabling students to take full advantage of technology and preparing them for the real world, while providing a safe environment, is a tricky balancing act.

You might be tempted to go for locked-down systems that exert total control over what students can access online, but this provides no opportunity for students to learn how to behave responsibly.  Monitoring and filtering is essential to prevent access to inappropriate content but, for example, banning Facebook or social networking sites could actually leave students more vulnerable when they are outside the school gates because they haven’t had the chance to learn how to use social media in a safe environment.

As with everything in life, education is key and to help you on your way to delivering an effective and engaging e-safety education, here are five topics taken from a comprehensive lesson plan that is available free at www.rm.com/esafety.  The lesson plan includes all the resources you need to deliver a highly engaging and stimulating e-safety course for KS3 and 4.

Five key e-safety questions:

  • What is e-safety?  Start by finding out what your students understand constitutes e-safety as a way of auditing their current knowledge.
  • What constitutes responsible use of social networking?  Share a fictitious social network profile (provided in the lesson plan) and ask students how this person is protecting her personal information and what she’s doing wrong.
  • Are you a cyberbully?  Was that ‘joke’ they sent really funny or could it have been an act of unintentional bullying?  Was it okay to share that picture, or was it mean?
  • What’s your digital footprint?  What information is there about you online?  How should you protect your online reputation and what do you need to know about sharing personal information?
  • How reliable is online information?  This lesson is all about how to interrogate what you might think are ‘facts’ you find online.

Download the full lesson plan for free at www.rm.com/esafety

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