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WED: Online Safety: Can Parental Networking combined with Parent Guides assist in keeping Children Safe Online (Greg Keating)

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greg keating
10 January 2016

At the start of 2015, after a recent Ofsted inspection, the educational institute I work at had various issues that needed to be addressed. The primary concern of this report was student safeguarding and more specifically e-safety. Internally, throughout the remainder of the year online safety was addressed. A problem that remains, regards the failings concerning the children who are complaining of external issues which is where the majority of the school’s safeguarding complications arise.

As I was the lead for the internal project within the school this concerned me. How do we stop children from having so many issues at home? Why is this still a concern after all that we had been doing in school?

Resulting from this recent development my belief is that online safety is not just an issue that ‘should be embedded throughout schools safeguarding practice’ Kent E-safety Officer (2014) It is additionally something that needs to be embedded in a child’s home life. There are several studies that have suggested that ‘Parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement’. DFSAF (2008)

Online safety is not a talent that will directly impact a child’s achievement in a given subject however it is a key skill that needs to be ingrained into the ‘digital native generation’ M Prensky (2001)

An outcome that I wish my product and then final presentation to focus on is the importance of educating parents or guardians that are at home in addition to children regarding any issues on the given topic. This does not mean that I am solely suggesting that parents are the issue but in educating parents in addition to children I am hopeful that this will solve some issues.

Students can complete worksheets, attend classes, assemblies and enrichment days in an academic year, however if  this education is not being supported at home when they are using social media, using games consoles or texting then it will not be effective. However, if the parents have not got the resources openly available to them then this becomes more of a challenge.

As a result, the product will consist of an interactive multimedia product that will give the parents the information that they need with the addition of online support via social media and chat rooms.

The presentation will aim to conclude the innovative idea with the primary purpose of the discussion regarding the resource aimed at the effectiveness of the multimedia product and if it has met key targets. I will aim to justify my choice of approach while ensuring that all viewers of the presentation are aware of my initial outcomes how I have conducted the research and implemented the product while making it accessible and showing my conclusions on the success of the resource based on the opinions of networking with peers.   

Extra content

The multimedia product is proving difficult to post on here. I am working on it at the moment.

It is on the H818 OpenStudio page and if anyone would like a link to it then I will have to email directly (as it stands)

The links below lead you directly to the relative social media sites.

YouTube - 


Twitter -



greg keating
18:34 on 17 February 2016

Embedded Content


Anna Orridge
4:54pm 19 January 2016

Hi Greg,

These speakers from the BETT conference look as though they might be covering quite similar ground to you. Could be worth a look.


Anna Orridge
4:29pm 26 January 2016

Hi Greg,

I read newspaper reports recently that a very large percentage of parents were finding it difficult to limit the time their children spend on i-pads, phones, PCs etc. With this in mind, would your program go as far as to suggest parents limiting their kids' access to online resources? Or would this be counter-productive? (It may create domestic conflict or cut children off from valuable resources)

greg keating
9:06pm 26 January 2016

Thank you for these comments, I have looked into the Seminar and have contacted the two ladies that are running it to see if they are willing to discuss the topics that they are covering as I beleive you are correct they are very similar. 

Regarding your second comment, I regularly her from parents that they struggle to monitor this especially with the new developments of devices that they can use in their rooms.  Being a computing teacher I love all technology and think that it is important for my students to be using all of the resources available. However I do advise that once homework is completed and they have used their free time then there are no devices in the bedroom.  I appreciate this can be easier said than done with a lot of teenagers and I can see why this would be an issue for some parents.

I also recommend random spot checks on all devices and if students refuse then the devices is taken away from them. This also has disadvantages with the amount of smartphones currently available. Parents don’t like to take these away from the children as they understandably want to be able to contact their children however I do not see reasons why other privileges cannot be taken away.

A lot to consider and not being a parent myself I can only go by what I hear not by actual experience, which makes the task a little harder.

Further to this there is a program on BBC3 in the near future about online gaming and the dangers that arise from this. This is a less known danger that is becoming a massive issue with teenagers. I haven’t watched the program yet but I believe it involves the story of a teenager who murdered another after they met playing online game.

All are topics that I will defiantly be investigating further.

Once again thank you for your comments and help

Anna Orridge
10:52pm 1 February 2016

You're welcome, Greg. It's a fascinating topic. I had heard about the murder case, which was disturbing and tragic. I believe that the young lad's mother tried to get involved and contacted the police before the incident, but was not taken seriously. Which demonstrates that law enforcement, as well as families, may need some training.

Samantha Marks
7:03am 3 February 2016 (Edited 7:04am 3 February 2016)

Hi Greg. This is the area I work in, and I am involved in a project that seeks to do exactly this - help parents to understand their children's online world. 

I was a student here last year and I did my presentation about volunteers in Scouting ( ). I have now left the Scouts and am working for NSPCC. This multimedia approach is something that I agree is important - reaching arents in different ways. I also think that embedding this within parents communities is really important. Did you see the network as being part of teh school community or wider?

I can signpost you to lots of resources and things that might be useful, but I would love to catch up with you and share what I am doing - it might give you some ideas. The project I am working on is with O2, and we are stating to produce specific content for parents around things like Minecraft. But my favourite resource, which we are currently updating is Net Aware, where we ask parents and young people about the apps, sites and games they use in order to give advice to parents. I will stop the plugs now, but if you fancy a chat let me know. Are you on twitter or G+? I will be sneaking off to join your presentation at the conference.


greg keating
10:08pm 4 February 2016

Hi Sam

Your work sounds really interesting particularly regarding the apps and games. A lot of parents ask me and the other computing teachers for strategies to combat the risk that come with a variety of devices and vast range of apps that are available to their children. It is a topic that I have wanted to cover for a while due to the lack of guidance in my current school.

Initially I was aiming for the product to be just for the school (almost as a test to see its value) but with the hope that if it is successful the opportunity would be there to spread it wider. With the wide use of social networks I am under the assumption that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

I have both twitter and G+ accounts and would enjoy a chat about this topic.



Samantha Marks
10:43am 13 February 2016

SOrry GReg for teh belated reply..I have been pulled away by other thngs and forgot to set noifications!. My Twitter is @samsantics2..please feel free to find me.

Dr Simon Ball
5:45pm 17 February 2016

Hi Greg

Here is a summary of the questions/comments from your presentation - please respond as you wish:

  • Do you think advice would need to be adjusted for a mixed gender or female-only setting?
  • much of online safety messages are often aimed at girls
    It is, you're right, but there was a horrific case of a young boy being groomed online and killed by another teenager. Brock Budner, I think his name was. So there needs to be attention paid to boys too.
  • Do you feel that secondary school is too late and that your Project needs a Feeder Project tested in the Primary Schools that feed into the secondary school where you teach?
  • Parental engagement with any form documents are < 10% - think of policy reviews
  • That's a good approach. Parents get some many letters from school, they tend to end up just piling up on sideboards
  • building teh skills to stay safe is a part of development of children, so a bit like sex ed, you build teh skills and knowledge through teh years
  • Whoop whoop for a MVP minimum viable product or prototype. Is this in a LMS?
  • I think the problem with the whole sexting thing is that it can be incredibly embarrassing for parents and teachers to broach the subject, and kids don't really want to discuss it with them. I think this is a good opportunity for outside speakers, or, indeed and anonymous digital product.
  • What device do your research suggest that parents will use to access prototype and does it matter?
  • Networking is teh added dimension getting parents to support one another. Brilliant idea to link parents togehter in this constructive way
  • So would this take the form of e.g. a private parents Facebook?
  • would there be some moderation in place or would you rely on the community to sort through anyissues or disagreements
  • How secure will the peer support user generated material be - do you need to register with ICO - Information Commissioners Office?
  • Wondering about who will moderate this avoid trolling etc?
  • I think parents may welcome the opportunity to use some of the social media tools they are not familiar with as these are the ones their children are using. Sometimes we just need the purpose to start using it.
  • Is the Facebook group open for any parents to join or just those from your school?
  • Looks awesome - have a look at CYP-Media by Tony Loughlan which mentioned in my presentation on Sat. Facebook/Twitter/website - good exemplar of how to tie in materials and cross publicise while keeping the posts fresh avoiding mechanistic simultaneous posting.
  • good to test in your school community. find what works for them. ALso a good way to engage them in tech and upskill their own skills
  • Are you using any of the CEOP products on your page?
  • Are the parents going to receive some guidance re netiquette do’s/don’t on social media? I set up a group for a bunch of ex work colleagues – I was shocked at the level of inappropriate comments.

Dr Simon Ball
9:07am 23 February 2016

Many Congratulations Greg! Your presentation has been voted by delegates to be one of the most effective of the H818 Online Conference 2016 and you are officially one of our H818 Presentation Star Open Badge Winners! Please see how to Apply for your Badge here:

Well done!


H818 Conference Organiser

greg keating
1:24pm 27 February 2016

Thank you everyone :-) 

I will post answers to the questions in the near future


greg keating
1:24pm 27 February 2016

Thank you everyone :-) 

I will post answers to the questions in the near future


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