Safer Internet Day Is A Smokescreen: A Jim Gamble Blog

Safer Internet Day Is A Smokescreen: A Jim Gamble Blog

Posted: February 15, 2018 | Admin

sidblogHow have government invested in the resources that keep us all safe? The answer is they simply haven’t.

Batten down the hatches for the white noise that is Safer Internet Day 2018, and the smokescreen of a challenge to industry that hides this government’s failure to invest in our collective online safety.

The fact is it’s easy to attack the all-encompassing internet industry. When it wasn’t easy, ie in the beginning, many people simply didn’t challenge what was a new, venture capital-funded, and fledgling group of startups. The seduction of the technology itself was exciting and the complexities and unintended consequences too much for many to contemplate, let alone understand.

The irony is that it’s now populist to turn on the internet companies, even those like Facebook who have made significant improvements.

What’s wrong online is driven by the behaviour of people and, when it comes to bad behaviour, people never fail to disappoint.

Moderating behaviour is a responsibility of government – they have the authority and in fact a duty to keep us ‘all’ (and the public spaces we occupy, including those created by industry) safe.

This is something they’ve simply failed to do. The government would rather throw insults at the online industry and confusing statistics at the public than get their own act together.

We are told that in the last few years there’s been a 700% increase in reports (the majority of which actually come from industry) of potentially harmful online activity in the UK.

icons8-question_shieldSo how have government invested in the resources that keep us all safe; beyond ‘cheap’ rhetoric? The answer is they simply haven’t.

evidence2010

Jim Gamble, Home Affairs Committee. 12th October 2010

When I gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2010, CEOP had a budget of £12.5million. When I gave evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) this year CEOP was receiving £14.5million; £10million of which comes from the seemingly elastic ‘WePROTECT’ money.

Safeguarding children is led by two key principles; the application of professional curiosity and respectful challenge. We must ask this government the difficult questions and challenge them to lead by example.

The most frustrating fact however, is that no-one is actually challenging them on their level of real investment. Not even the army of so-called internet safety experts. From the big children’s charities to the one man or woman bands, being popular with government (or at least not at odds with them) is the easy option. It’s the new cop-out.

icons8-welfareThere is so much the government could do beyond demonising industry. They could start by simply taxing or licensing internet companies to fund the education, social care and policing resources needed to make our online lives safer.

If ultimately they cannot stomach a new tax or opening the public purse, they must at the very least open their closed minds, step outside their current comfort zone and actively consider creative new approaches like vetted and trained volunteer digital detectives.

The internet is integrated into every aspect of our lives, so continuing to treat it as novel is part of the problem. On the day we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote it might have been wise to have focused Safer Internet Day on the continuing struggle for equality; critically the part the online world plays when it comes to the bullying and harassment of women. That however would have required some thought and planning, not the simple default to the same old, same old.

I won’t hold my breath. In fact I doubt anything will actually be heard in the mishmash of messages, strap-lines, hashtags, sound bites and press releases that Safer Internet Day has become.

You’ve probably tuned out already.

This post originally appeared on HuffPost UK on February 6th 2018.

25 Punny Phrases for Your Valentine

Posted: February 14, 2018 | Admin

You are punbelievable!

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and the perfect day to remind your loved ones how much you care. Why not surprise someone you love with one of these puns?

It could be your mum, dad, carer, brother, sister, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or simply someone who you think deserves a smile today.

I’m batty about you !

If you were a triangle, you’d be acute one.

You’ve stolen a pizza my heart

I wheely like you

You are turtley awesome

Bee mine?

I’m nuts about you

I doughnut know what I’d do without you

You’re my Boo!

You’re dino-mite!

Owl always love you.

You are pre-tea cute!

I think you’re super

You take up so mushroom in my heart!

Time fries when I’m with you

I won’t go bacon your heart

You’re my purr-son

Orange you glad we are friends?

I soda think you’re cute

I’m so glad we’re in the same school!

You are my fur-vourite

I’m bananas for you

I am toad-illy yours

I’ll always pick you

I would quack up without you

 

Four tips to help improve children’s mental health

Posted: February 9, 2018 | Katie

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 15.05.23 

We are coming to the end of Children’s Mental Health Week 2018. The theme this year is celebrating uniqueness and being ourselves. Nowadays, given the exponential rise of social media, the pressure on children to be ‘perfect’ or to blend in with the crowd has never more exacerbated. Children are bombarded with highlight reels from their peers on social media or perfect images of prefabricated, perfect celebrity lives. Many children may not understand these images are often very carefully constructed and do not represent true life. Many children measure their lives and self-worth against those that they see online. This can lead to real issues re self-esteem, especially when a child is at their most impressionable and vulnerable.

 

According to statistics, mental health and wellbeing is a concern for many young people aged 11-16. In a recent survey, by the Department of Health (2016) over a third of young people within this age bracket had concerns about their mental health and as many as 61% of respondents did not seek professional help for their mental health concerns.

 

Children’s Mental Health week is a great way to raise awareness about mental health and to sensitively introduce self-care practices or concepts to children by promoting mental wellbeing in the classroom, playground, at home and online.

 

4 TIPS

1. Get their creativity flowing – music, art and drama are great ways for young people to explore their feelings. These mediums can help young people to understand themselves better. Creating art can induce a sense of accomplishment and trigger endorphins in the brain. This can be great for boosting mood and in turn, contribute to good mental wellbeing. Cathartic creativity can provide an insight into a child or young person’s state of mind.

2. Get them moving – There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that exercise can help to combat or relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Exercise is said to increase the levels of endorphins, serotonin and other chemical messengers in your brain that help to lift your mood. That being said exercising is also great for their physical health and wellbeing. Simple exercise is best; playing in the garden, going on a bike ride or even downloading apps such as ‘GoNoodle Kids’ (ages 5 and up) that have dancing, yoga and other exercise videos for kids to watch and follow. For more info, watch ‘Four tech tips to get kids fit’ below

YouTube | Four tech tips to get kids fit

3. Mindfulness concepts – Mindfulness can be a great way to manage your mental wellbeing and the concept encourages us to remain in ‘the present moment’ using various techniques such as meditation or breathing techniques. It is a great idea to teach mindfulness techniques to children such as light meditation or breathing as it will help them to experience a sense of calm. There are great apps out there that help to introduce mindfulness through guided meditations and breathing exercises. Apps such as ‘Smiling Mind’ (ages 7 and up) are wonderful and available on the app store and google play.

4. Encourage kids to talk about their feelings – It’s important to try and remain open and empathetic to a child’s concerns or worries. If you suspect that your child or a child in your care is having a hard time, ask them directly what is wrong, encourage open dialogue about their concerns or fears. If they present a problem to you that causes you to be alarmed, such as becoming involved in a sexting incident with a classmate, don’t over react. This will only shut down the conversation. Remain calm and assure the child that you are there for them.

Remember, if you are worried about your child or their mental health, talk to their GP or someone at your child’s school. It is important to escalate any concerns you have about a child, if you feel their wellbeing is in any danger whatsoever. For more information and tips about child protection, keeping children safe online and much more, you can visit our website www.ineqe.com. For more information about Children’s Mental Health Week, visit www.place2be.org.uk/

Your Guide to Social Media Stories

Posted: February 5, 2018 | Admin

How young people tell their ‘story’ through Social Media

From a young age, children become immersed in a world of stories. These stories aid children’s development as it heightening their imagination and exposing them to new language and emotions.

Stories also provide the means to enhance interaction and engagement with caregivers. As children get older, the stories they are interested in can change. Smartphones replace books and Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook provide the new digital pages for their stories.

The ‘Story’ feature on these social media giants provide a platform for children and young people to tell ‘their’ stories and update friends about their lives by posting pictures and videos on their profiles, as a digital diary.

Parents, carers and professionals need to be alive to this new environment and understand how these ‘stories’ work.

What is a story?

A story, in social media terms, is generally a picture or video that lasts for 24 hours once it is first posted. Young people today have become increasingly reliant on the connection between social media and socialising; keeping up-to-date with their friends.

The most common platforms for stories to be shared can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. There are no set rules and platforms differ in appearance and use.

Instagram is often used to post higher quality stories, perhaps documenting a trip, day out or spending time with friends and family.

Snapchat is well known for its ‘filters’ (read on) and throwaway funny pictures that young people may send to their friends for a laugh, perhaps from a party or a night out.

Facebook is a relatively new player still finding its feet in the competitive world of ‘stories’ but being one of the biggest players in the social media market there will certainly be a high level of use.

Who Views a Story?

When a story is posted it means that anyone you are connect with on the app can view that photo/video. There is no limit to the amount you can post on your story.

Both Instagram and Snapchat allow you to see who has viewed your story, however Snapchat goes one step further sending a notification to the original poster every time someone screenshots part of their story.

In Snapchat, certain people can be stopped from seeing your story by blocking them in settings > who can… view my story > custom > you then choose which of your contacts to block.

Similarly, on Instagram go to your profile > settings > story settings > hide story from > then choose who you don’t want to see your story.

Facebook also allows the user to choose who they would like to see their story depending on current privacy settings.

Key Features in a Story

Text & Location

Text can also be added, including the facility to hand write or draw on all three platforms.

Instagram and Facebook Stories allow location to be added to the post.

This is a feature which needs to be used cautiously as strangers could easily identify the poster from their picture and the personal information they’ve shared on their posts.

Snapchat does not give an option for location to be shared in a story: however, if Snap Maps is enabled then the location of a user can be seen.

Watch this video on how to activate ‘Ghost Mode’ so other users can’t see your location.

Stickers

Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram all offer ‘stickers’ as a way to customise and decorate stories. These are emoji’s that add extra details such as mood emoji’s or cartoon images; these stickers can be resized by tapping the sticker with two fingers, and pressing down whilst ‘dragging out to’ make the image bigger.

 

Instagram Polls

On Instagram stories, users can create a poll by asking viewers to choose between two different options. For example, they might post a picture with the text, ‘what should I eat for dinner tonight?’ and two options below; ‘Chinese’ ‘Salad’. Those viewing the story can select their answer. The user who posted the poll can then see the results and the breakdown of who chose what option.

Highlights

Instagram story highlights appear on a user’s profile. These are stories the user has previously posted which the user has selected to be a ‘highlight’. The user can then select as many as they like to appear at the top of their profile.

Filters

Filters change the colour of the picture and many users of these platforms say it helps to enhance the photo. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all give the option of using filters.

Archiving

Introduced in December 2017, Instagram now lets you archive stories, this means that they are saved to an ‘Archive’ folder as a way to keep them after the 24 hour time limit has expired.

Before being posted on Snapchat, snaps can be saved to memories which similarly to Instagram keeps an archive of any snaps you might want to save before posting.

Snapchat and Facebook give you the option to save stories to your camera roll before you share them.

Live

Instagram and Facebook also allow live streaming to take place and post this via a story, click the button below to download our free printable resource on live streaming.

 

So there you have it, a brief run down of the features of social media stories.

Stories have become popular with young people, as it’s a way to show others what they are doing, express their emotions, individuality, show off and sometimes seek attention.

It is important to educate young people that living life through a lens often glamorises reality – people only post what they want others to see and young people often get caught up in other people’s stories. Real life is often played out like reality TV and sometimes, depending on what is shown, can make or break friendships.

Engage with the young people in your care and ask them what part stories play in their lives, do they use them, do they watch them, how does it impact them?

We ARE NOT suggesting you use them with children but why don’t you download these apps and try them out with a small group of friends?

 

Exclusive Resources for #SaferInternetDay

Posted: February 1, 2018 | Admin

profheader

Safer Internet Day is just around the corner; Tuesday 6th February 2018. 

Children and young people are digital natives; a term used for the generations who have grown up with computers. Many young people know the ‘Save’ icon in Microsoft Word, but would they know what to do with a floppy disk if they saw one in real life?

The message is getting through; children and young people are becoming more savvy to dangers lurking online. However, research tells us that they may not know what to do, or how to react, when they see something that upsets them online.

This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you. Inspired by this, we have created collection of resources for KS1, KS2 and Secondary Pupils.

 

icons8-paint_palette_filledFor KS1
A colouring in sheet where they can learn how to create a long and strong password.

Untitled-1_03

 

icons8-stationery_filledFor KS2
A wordsearch with online safety buzzwords.

Untitled-1_05

 

icons8-training_filledFor KS3
A presentation teachers can use in their classrooms.

The presentation and accompanying lesson plan covers three case studies, inspired by a composite of real events. They cover Sextortion, Sexting and Anonymous Messaging, giving pupils the opportunity to think about the consequences of what they say online and crucially, who they can go to if they make a mistake.

Untitled-1_06

Untitled-1_08

 

Please feel free to share this page with someone you think would be interested in these exclusive resources.

Exclusive Resource: Prep for #SaferInternetDay

Posted: February 1, 2018 | Admin

Safer Internet Day is just around the corner; Tuesday 6th February 2018. Are you prepared for it?

Children and young people are digital natives; a term used for the generations who have grown up with computers. Many young people know the ‘Save’ icon in Microsoft Word, but would they know what to do with a floppy disk if they saw one in real life?

The message is getting through; children and young people are becoming more savvy to dangers lurking online. However, research tells us that they may not know what to do, or how to react, when they see something that upsets them online.

This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you. Inspired by this, we have created a presentation teachers can use in their classrooms.

The presentation and accompanying lesson plan covers three case studies, inspired by a composite of real events. They cover Sextortion, Sexting and Anonymous Messaging, giving pupils the opportunity to think about the consequences of what they say online and crucially, who they can go to if they make a mistake.

Please feel free to share this with someone  you think would be interested in this exclusive resource.

 

 

Exclusive Resources: Prep for #SaferInternetDay

Posted: January 30, 2018 | Admin

Safer Internet Day is just around the corner; Tuesday 6th February 2018. Are you prepared for it?

We really hope you’re enjoying exploring your new Safer Schools app!

With Safer Internet Day coming up soon, we have created these exclusive resources to use with your pupils.

For KS1
A colouring in sheet where they can learn how to create a long and strong password.

 

 

For KS2
A wordsearch with online safety buzzwords.

 

E-mail this page to yourself to easily access the resources on a desktop computer.



Young Carers Awareness Day – For Adults

Posted: January 25, 2018 | Admin

youngcarer 

 

Did you know that there are 700,000 young carers in the UK and that the average age for a young carer is just 12 years old.

One of the children in you work with or engage might actually be a superhero; someone who makes a real difference in other people’s lives. The marvel of it is that there are 700,000 young superheroes quietly caring for others across the UK every day.

What is a young carer?

In England and Scotland a young carer is under the age of 18, however they also define a ‘young adult carer’ as up to age 25.

Similarly in Wales, the code of practice recognises young adult carers as aged 16-25.

In Northern Ireland, a young carer is defined as someone under the age of 23 who provides care for a relative who is sick or disabled.

What does it actually mean to be a young carer?

Despite all the extra responsibilities they take on, many young carers don’t even realise that they are one. However, it is really important that they know they are acting as a young carer because there is special support available for them – keep reading below to find out!

How does caring affect someone?

icons8-ingredientsYoung carers often help out around the house doing jobs such as cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, looking after siblings or by providing personal care for a family member. Whilst young carers very often simply want to do what they can to help their family, there can be an adverse impact on their social life and wellbeing.

Young carers may have worries that non-carers might not even think about during the day. They might worry about what to make for dinner or whether there’s enough money to go shopping for food. They can also become distracted because they are concerned about how the person they care for is coping without them.

How do they study or go to work?

Most young carers are still in school or college and it can be a struggle to balance their workload with the responsibly of caring for a family member. This often results in missing days from school: Young Minds, an organisation that supports young people, suggests that young carers miss 48 days a year on average . It is therefore not surprising that some young carers can feel overwhelmed, stressed and suffer from anxiety.

Sadly, many young carers’ have been bullied at some point because of they are caring for a family member.

What support/help can a young carer receive?

There are many organisations throughout the UK which provide support for young carers. These services provide them with the chance to unwind and meet others in a similar position. They can learn more about the illness they’re caring for, and critically what other support is available for both them and their loved ones. A few such organisations are listed at the bottom of this article.

What if one of my students is a young carer?

Maybe you’ve only just realised, or maybe you already knew – but it’s important to know how to support young people who are in this position of responsibility.

Be Understanding – If a child in your care is already identified as a young carer it is important to be understanding around their needs but you should also encourage them and provide support so that they don’t fall behind in their education.

Young Carers in Schools Programme – this programme is run by the Carers Trust and The Children’s Society and works with schools sharing good practice, providing teachers guides, webinars and the Young Carers in Schools Award.

Supporting Young Carers in School: An Introduction for Primary and Secondary School Staff – This document provides advice and best practice for professionals working with young carers.

Services for Young Carers

There are so many organisations offering support that we can’t list them all; below are only a few as an example. You can look into services in your own area by searching on the web – you never know when a child or young person may need support.

Some examples of organisations that help young carers are;

UK Wide

Action for Children

Childline – 0800 1111 (24 hour service)

England

Leeds – Willow Young Carers Service
Liverpool and the Wirral Action with young carers Project
Bedfordshire – Carers in Bedfordshire

Wales

YMCA Cardiff 

 

Scotland

Edinburgh Young Carers 

Glasgow Association for Mental Health Young Carers Project 

 

Northern Ireland

Crossroads Young Carers

 

Resources from Young Carers Trust

Be an Agony Aunt for a Young Carer

The Young Carer Quiz

Young Carer Case Studies

Ideas for activities and Lessons

Young Carers: Who are they? What do they do?

What you can do to mark Young Carers Awareness Day

Young Carers Awareness Day – For Young People

Posted: January 25, 2018 | Admin

 

You, one of your friends, classmates or relative might actually be a superhero; someone who makes a real difference in other people’s lives!

The marvel of it is that there are 700,000 young superheroes quietly caring for others across the UK every day. If that surprises you think about this; the average age of a young carer is only 12 years old.

 

What is a young carer?

In England and Scotland a young carer is under the age of 18, however they also define a ‘young adult carer’ as up to age 25.

Similarly in Wales, the code of practice recognises young adult carers as aged 16-25.

In Northern Ireland, a young carer is defined as someone under the age of 23 who provides care for a relative who is sick or disabled.

What does it actually mean to be a young carer?

Despite all the extra duties responsibilities they take on, many young carers don’t even realise that they are one. It is really important that they know they are acting as a young carer because there is special support available for them – keep reading below to find out!

How does caring affect someone?

Young carers often help out around the house doing jobs such as cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, looking after siblings or by providing the personal care for a family member. Whilst young carers very often simply want to do what they can to help their family, there can be an impact on the young person’s social life and own wellbeing.

Young Carers may have worries that non-carers might not even think about during the day. They might worry about what to make for dinner or whether there’s enough money to go shopping for food. They can also become distracted because they are thinking about how the person they care for is coping while they’re not there.

 How do they study or go to work?

Most young carers are still in school or college, and it can be a struggle to balance this workload with the responsibly of caring for a family member. Often this means missing days of school: Young Minds, an organisation that supports young people, suggests that young carers miss 48 days a year on average . They may also feel stress and anxiety caused by the educational problems of falling behind and feeling overwhelmed with workload and responsibilities.

Sadly, many young carers’ have been bullied at some point because of their role of caring for a family member.

What support/help can a young carer receive?

There are many organisations throughout the UK, which provide support for young carers. These services provide them with the chance to unwind and meet others in a similar position. They can learn more about the illness they’re caring for, and critically what other support is available for both them and their loved ones. A few such organisations are listed at the bottom of this article.

If you think you are in a situation as described and live in England you can contact your local council’s Children’s Services. They will come and assess your situation and if necessary provide you with extra help and support – it’s not scary and you can have someone with you who is good at saying things if you get stuck – your council will just want to support you.

What if my friend is a young carer?

Maybe you’ve only just realised now, or maybe you already knew – but it’s important to know how to support friends who are in this position of responsibility.

Be Understanding – maybe they can’t come out every Friday night like they used to, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want to. Young Carers have to think beyond what they want, and often have to think what is best for the person they are caring for.

Offer Support – Be a good friend; think how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. Help them catch up with schoolwork, ask how they are feeling and listen to their worries.

Be thoughtful – Make plans well in advance, so they can arrange for someone else to care for their relative and whenever possible try and hang out somewhere local to their house so they can nip home quickly if they want or need to.

Talk to a trusted adult – They might be able to help make sure your friend can get support.

 

If you are a young carer we’d like to end by thanking you for everything you do.

You are a very special person!

 

Services for Young Carers

There are so many organisations offering support that we can’t list them all; below are only a few as an example. Why don’t you look into services in your own area by searching on the web – you never know when someone you know may need support!

Some examples of organisations that help young carers are;

UK Wide

Action for Children

Childline – 0800 1111 (24 hour service)

 

England

Leeds – Willow Young Carers Service
Liverpool and the WirralAction with young carers Project
BedfordshireCarers in Bedfordshire

Wales

YMCA Cardiff – provides this site with different groups for young carers.

Scotland

Edinburgh Young Carers 

Glasgow Association for Mental Health Young Carers Project

 

Northern Ireland

Crossroads Young Carers

Resources from Young Carers Trust

Be an Agony Aunt for a Young Carer

The Young Carer Quiz

Young Carer Case Studies

Ideas for activities and Lessons

Young Carers: Who are they? What do they do?

What you can do to mark Young Carers Awareness Day

Celebrate Thesaurus Day with our Emoji Dictionary📖.

Posted: January 18, 2018 | Admin

 

iStock_000056332100_Full

👋

Can you use your emoji’s as fluently as words?

Children today are often referred to as digital nomads as they have grown up surrounded by technology and pick up the terminology and language of the web as easily as picking up a second language from birth. In order to work alongside children and spot any warning signs it’s important that you, as a parent or professional, have an understanding of the words and emoji’s children and young people are using and what they actually mean.

Download Your Free Emoji Dictionary

Brush up your lingo with our handy emoji dictionary! Download by clicking here or by clicking on the picture below.

 

Safety-CardEmojiDictionary

Guess the movie!

🏰👭❄️⛄️

🐔🏃🏽💨

 

Translate »