Encouraging e-safety, raising self-esteem & developing digital skills

Eteach attended the 30th annual Council of British International Schools’ (COBIS) Conference in May. Continuing her earlier piece, Gerry Manolas reports on a programme to raise self-esteem through rugby, on moves to develop children’s safety awareness when using social network sites and on the ‘My World’ network and learning models for international collaboration. She also links to video interviews recorded around the conference by international students.

As I mentioned at the end of the last piece, one of my personal highlights of the conference was meeting England Rugby player Andy Gomarsall and finding out more about his programme to raise self-esteem and develop leadership skills through sport, and especially rugby.

“Sport can certainly play an important part in triggering increased focus, learning, and in some cases improved behaviour, organisation and attitude in the classroom,” says Andy.

Through his work with children he has created a Visual Success Map which promotes the use of parents and coaches as mentors, allows a visual representation of an individual’s progress and illustrates the steps towards achieving their goals in all areas of life.

This would be of real relevance to any school looking for new and innovative methods to develop leadership, communication, organisation, focus and self-belief.

E-safety – making informed choices

An area for concern in all schools these days is that of e-safety – not only for students, but also for staff. This issue has been right at the forefront of discussions in education recently (see previous Eteach blog here).

Kate Valentine’s seminar introduced us to a scheme that is being promoted across the UK called ‘Safe’. Safe has been developed by DigitalMe with support from Childnet International, the I in Online and Radiowaves. Safe is a new programme of practical activities to develop primary children’s skills, self-confidence and safety awareness when using social network sites.

Social networking and sharing content online has become an integral part of young people’s lives. It provides many opportunities to develop creative and communication skills in ways that are relevant to them, in school and at home.

However, with these new opportunities come new choices, and Safe can help children make positive and informed choices when creating and sharing online.

By completing the Safe programme, which consists of easy to deliver, practical activities to develop pupils’ safety awareness and digital literacy skills, pupils will gain a Safe certificate as evidence of their learning. They also get access to Radiowaves, the free child-friendly social network for schools. There’s more about Radiowaves below.

Supporting materials and teacher guides are available to download and the programme gives primary schools a framework to help pupils develop as active and ‘Safe’ digital citizens. Safe is free to use in schools and easy to join.

To sign up to Safe, click here and follow the link ‘sign up’. Email for further information or ring 0113 2469989.

Radiowaves develops digital skills

Radiowaves is the leading online community for young people aged 5-19, enabling them to publish their videos, podcasts and blogs safely and easily. It also allows schools and groups working with young people to get all the creative and learning benefits of social media in a simple and safe way. With their own Radiowaves website, schools can create multi-media stories, join national campaigns and easily develop pupils’ digital literacy skills.

Radiowaves has a good track record in innovation, having won a BETT award in 2004. Since then, the community has grown to over 40,000 members in 30 countries. Partnerships with Parliament’s Education Service, Imperial War Museum and British Council have helped grow the community and provide unique opportunities for members.

With 50,000+ stories already online, Radiowaves is the place to hear what young people are saying. To join this safe, child-friendly social networking site for young people go to www.radiowaves.co.uk/join for your free school networking site.

Radiowaves has been working closely with DigitalMe to develop the My World network and learning models for international collaboration, funded by the British Council’s Youth in Action fund. These projects allow young people to safely use social media to connect and collaborate, to share stories about their lives and to debate the issues facing all young people today, no matter where they are.

View online interviews from COBIS

You can take a look at the Radiowaves network here – it’s bursting with international news and activities. You’ll find student blogs, and audio and video interviews filed from the COBIS conference by students from the British School of Paris from this link, including interviews with Andy Gomarsall MBE, Nick Gibb MP, COBIS Chairman Dr Roger Fry and others.

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