2016 really has flown by! It’s been a whirlwind of headlines including data protection, appropriate filtering and monitoring, sexting, social media, ransomware and the computing curriculum. And with that, SWGfL have been responding with new guidance, new resources, service improvements and engagement with partners, educators and learners right across the UK and beyond; helping us to deliver on our vision of safe and empowering use of technology, for young people and for everyone.
ICT is truly embedded in the curriculum and the Internet is an essential part of teaching and learning in every school, every day. Relatively recently, schools have been charged with choosing a broadband solution from a range of suppliers. SWGfL have been supporting schools with broadband infrastructure for over 17 years and we've put together our top 6 “must haves” for schools internet service in a simple Broadband Buyers Guide.
Over the year we’ve seen a number of high profile media reports suggesting an 'alarming' rise in ransomware attacks, and at SWGfL we’ve noticed that a number of schools have fallen victim in recent months too. Our series of informative articles explore ransomware in detail and identify some key steps in helping schools to prevent it from reaping havoc.
Appropriate Levels of Filtering
The revised statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ was published in September; schools must ensure that they provide ‘appropriate levels of filtering and monitoring’. Our team, part of the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) along with partners and stakeholders, have published a guide for education settings and filtering providers about establishing 'appropriate levels of filtering'.
And our very own Schools Internet Service which includes enhanced cloud based flexible filtering, demonstrates our commitment to deliver excellent value for money solutions to schools.
With the ever changing social media landscape, SWGfL continues to empower educators, parents and carers with straight-forward information about tools and resources, from Agar.io and oovoo to Yik Yak, Anonymoose and Snapchat the plethora of online games and collaboration apps continues to evolve.
Responding to and Managing Sexting Incidents
And whilst the growing range of social apps can bring enhanced collaboration and many social benefits, it can also bring a range of risks too. SWGfL’s updated guidance in relation to responding to and managing sexting incidents was released in May.
SWGfL’s commitment and involvement with the Barefoot Computing Project has continued throughout the year, our team work with over 1,500 volunteers who are available to deliver free in school workshops for primary teachers right across the UK. If you haven’t had a workshop in your school yet we’d be delighted to help arrange that for the New Year find out how here.
Thank-you and Merry Xmas!
SWGfL’s team of extremely dedicated, passionate and skilled staff has made all of this (and lots more) possible, so thank you to each and every one of you. And to our trustees, partners, customers and friends we’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and all the very best for 2017.
On behalf of SWGfL Senior Management Team