20,000 – it’s a nice-sounding number, isn’t it?
In kilograms, it’s about three and a half elephants.
In miles, it would take you from our HQ in Exeter to Kolkata and back… Twice.
In people, you could fill Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park (and leave 500 people outside to peek over the fences).
Oh, and it’s also the number of professionals to whom we’ve delivered Online Safety Live training sessions.
You do know about Online Safety Live, right?
Before we get into the details of last month’s jaw-dropping milestone, let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page.
As part of our work with the UK Safer Internet Centre, we deliver a programme called Online Safety Live.
OSLs (as we affectionately know them) are two-hour sessions that cover the latest trends in the digital world. Some people attend to learn about topics they’ve never considered before and others use OSLs as the perfect refresher to our more in-depth online safety training.
Wherever we host them, OSLs are always free to everyone – whatever their reason for attending – and always delivered by our expert consultants.
We believe that a confident and empowered children’s workforce will encourage our digital generations to be safe and secure online. And we hope that attendees also pick up some useful tips for themselves along the way!
The best online safety training for teachers (and everyone)
20,000 professionals educated, empowered, and entertained. Just to make sure we're crystal clear on this - that’s TWENTY. THOUSAND. Two zero zero zero zero. I'm getting dizzy just looking at all those digits.
6 years and over 450 sessions delivered everywhere from Truro to Inverness (call it a perk of the job) have brought us to this milestone – and we have loved every minute.
If the reported numbers are correct and there are just over 500,000 teachers in the UK, that means we have trained almost 4% of teachers in the UK… but OSLs aren’t just for teachers!
We’ve delivered training to those working in public services, fostering and adoption agencies, local governments, health and social care, youth workers, safeguarding professionals, and many more. If you work with young people in any capacity, attending an Online Safety Live will build your confidence and effectiveness in solving problems related to technology and the internet.
A world of constant evolution
Online safety is not a sector famous for standing still.
Spending a week training the children’s workforce feels great but, by the time the next week starts, two new apps, a new scare story, and five new viruses have been released in the world and we have to start over again. Pretty good, then, that we love doing it!
Thankfully, despite the ever-changing nature of online safety, some key principles remain the same.
Positivity trumps scaremongering
Creating a culture of fear and suspicion around young people’s online activity is a recipe for disaster. Seeing the positives in our increasingly-digital world will put you on the right footing to maximise its benefits for yourself and the young people with whom you work.
There’s always time to talk
Approaching online safety issues with a level head and openness will produce the best results. Making sure everyone has a voice in the conversation and feels safe to express themselves will help you find a mutually-agreeable solution.
Know where to look for help
It can feel pretty lonely trying to solve an online safety issue if you don’t know all the details or feel unequipped. There are platforms, tools, and services that you can turn to if you need assistance.
Report Harmful Content helps everyone report content that breaks community guidelines and the Professionals Online Safety Helpline exists to help any professional working with young people with online safety issues.
20,000 down, how many thousands more to go?
Having trained 20,000 people – arming them with the very best in online safety education, readying them to defeat digital demons with tools and techniques – we aren’t stopping there.
The OSL train rolls on and our schedule shows plenty more stops ahead of us. The first quarter of 2020 is already booked up and there are plenty more sessions in the pipeline.
If you think an OSL sounds like what you need, then you can book your free tickets by visiting our Online Safety Live site. We travel across the UK to deliver these sessions, so if you can’t see your region on the list – don’t worry! We’ll be with you soon.
Here’s to 2020 and another 20,000 (but maybe not in one year).