With ProjectEVOLVE now being actively used by over 3000 organisations, we wanted to see how professionals were using the digital education toolkit in their day-to-day teaching. We spoke with Mr. Liam Hussey, E-Safety Coordinator from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn to discuss how his school addresses online safety and where ProjectEVOLVE comes into their strategy.
Digital skills and knowledge are required for all aspects of life
Could you tell me a little bit about your school?
Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy is a large secondary school in Runcorn, Cheshire and is close to Liverpool and Warrington. We have a diverse intake and have over 50% of students in receipt of Free School Meals.
Why did you initially sign up for ProjectEVOLVE?
I had heard about ProjectEVOLVE by networking with Ken Corish at various events and also online. I was particularly keen to use the ProjectEVOLVE resources in order to meet the requirements of the Teaching Online Safety in School document.
How has your school community used ProjectEVOLVE since signing up?
We have reviewed our curriculum recently to ensure we are compliant with Teaching Online Safety in School. We now deliver online safety content using our PSHE curriculum and deliver digital literacy teaching and learning in the ICT curriculum and this is delivered by ICT specialist teachers.
Have the resources assisted in your teaching strategy and in developing digital skills for young people?
ProjectEVOLVE has saved us masses of time by providing us with resources to deliver our Digital Literacy provision. In some cases we have used the ProjectEVOLVE resources with our classes, in other lessons we have taken elements of the ProjectEVOLVE materials and adapted them to meet the needs of our students. I found the ProjectEVOLVE dashboard particularly useful for providing ‘food for thought’ when deciding what topics to implement. The slides and video material very useful for us.
Before ProjectEVOLVE how did you approach the topic of online safety or digital wellbeing with students?
We have delivered online safety lessons for a number of years with good success rates. However there was minimal provision in place for Digital Literacy before ProjectEVOLVE and the resources and framework have helped us massively to plug this gap.
Have you focussed the tool on a particular year group or topic, and if so, why is that?
We have delivered ProjectEVOLVE materials to years 7, 8 and 9 as part of their Digital Literacy scheme of learning. We were particularly keen to develop students’ awareness of topics like fake news, cookies, online information, security and privacy. ProjectEVOLVE has undoubtably supported this for us.
With new features on the horizon that will aim to engage more directly with students, would you continue to use the tool for the foreseeable future?
In your opinion, do you think online safety and digital skills should play an important part in education? If yes, how does ProjectEVOLVE support that?
I think online safety and digital literacy are paramount for us to develop well rounded young people who can be happy, safe and successful in the 21st centuary. Digital skills and knowledge are required for all aspects of life – inside and outside of the workplace. ProjectEVOLVE has allowed us to start to provide our students with this ever important skills and knowledge.
Mr Hussey has also spoke about OBA's Digital Literacy strategy in this article.
If you would like to sign up for ProjectEVOLVE and be the first to see the new features which are launching soon, you can register for free here.