ICT and Computing: Students Reflect on E-Safety Workshop

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The third day back at school and another E-safety talk.  It seemed like it was going to be yet another long-winded talk, to try and alienate us from the marvels of social media.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case. To be honest, it was to the contrary. The speaker, an ex-teacher, talked well and knowledgably about the facts of all we do online, highlighting the pros and cons about the continually influential digital age. 

For example, he discussed how social networking sites like Facebook are brilliant for chatting, and keeping up to date with friends- but that there can be downsides to using them; posts and comments you made years earlier can be brought up at job and university interviews." Think before you post" became a much less patronising phrase.

We also found out that messages you send on Snapchat are stored on huge databases and are not erased for at least ten years, if they actually get erased.

To someone not of our age, such findings may come as a huge shock, and they may freak out, and start claiming the internet to be some horrendous concept based on George Orwell's 1984. Big brother is watching you. Doublethink, NO, re-think that idea.

The Internet can be incredible- just take some things you see on it with a pinch of salt, and rise above comments and media messages on body image, race, sexuality and so on - Accept who you are and love yourself.

The Internet is a virtual world that is becoming ever more real, we've just got to appreciate how REAL it is. 

 

Jack Robinson-Hopkins

Lower Fifth, Dicker House

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On Wednesday the 10th of September, I and my fellow Sixth Formers were addressed by Mr Peter Bower, from the Southwest Grid for Learning, in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of E-Safety. 

Mr Bower attempted to strip any preconceptions we may have had about the monotony of E-saftey talks, which he did successfully. Instead, of repeating what we had all heard before, he emphasised on the most important bits. We were all engaged as he explained the social responsibility we all have when using the internet.  Bede's students are renowned for taking on this responsibility and reporting any harmful content we come across online.

He also spoke to us about the longevity of our digital footprint. Whatever we post online will always be retrievable, it hardly ever just disappears. Using data and amusing anecdotes, Mr Bower informed us about how many University Admissions offices as well as employers run searches on their prospective candidates, usually using Google Search or Social Networking Sites.

To be protected from being dismissed on accounts of anything we post online, Mr Bower also briefly explained how we can adjust our privacy settings on social networking sites, such as Facebook.

The main message conveyed in this E-safety talk was the need for awareness about what we post online, and what we allow others to post about us. It really just is about ensuring that what we post is sensible and doesn't create an undesirable, perhaps untrue image of ourselves.

By showing us pictures of two-year olds on iPads, Mr Bower communicated the extent to which the world we live in is now a digital one.  Just as we are aware of what legacy we leave behind in the real world, we must also be conscious of the legacy we leave behind digitally. 

We would like to thank Mr Krause for organising this talk and Mr Bower for delivering it so eloquently.

 

Laura Adebisi

Upper Sixth, Crossways House