eSafety and eTwinning

  • B. Trends/issues/policies and practices

  • B1: Rights and Responsibilities

  • Q6: What are the rights and responsibilities of people online?

    Knowing your rights and responsibilities when you go online is not always easy. A simple rule of thumb is to think of what would you do offline. In general, the rules are the same both on and offline, but you might find yourself in a situation that does not have a clear point of reference to the 'real world', so it is equally important to know your rights whilst online.

    1. For further information about rules and regulations, have a look at the Code of EU Online Rights

    2. If you are looking for exercises on this topic, check out Chapter 1 of the Web We Want Teen Handbook, discussing "My rights and responsibilities". 

  • B2: Privacy and data protection

  • Q7: How to protect school devices against malware?

    Malware is the term given to malicious software that has been designed to secretly access a computer network or system without the owner’s consent, and can include viruses, worms and spyware. Once there, malware usually causes undesirable results that can range from being simply intrusive or annoying to compromising personal information in the system or being outright destructive. Malware usually finds its way into the IT system of a school through spam, downloading of contaminated files or through infected portable devices (USB, external hard disk, E-mail, mobile phone, etc.). 

    Actions that should be taken into consideration, include: 

    1. Installing firewalls and anti-virus protection systems and keep them updated to avoid security breaches.

    2. Blocking unwanted websites and pop-ups by personalising the security settings of the web browser(s) used on the school machines.

    3. Explaining to pupils why this is done and make clear that this is for their protection.

    4. Creating a rigorously applied protocol on the use of the internet and the automatic checking for malware of personal mails on school machines.

    5. Providing your staff with basic training on detecting potentially infected files and secure practices when downloading files or using portable devices.

    6. Everybody, staff and students must be taught to first scan all files for malware before they are used on school machines

    7. Designating a trained contact person to handle all problems related to malware and put a formal incident handling procedure into place.

  • Q8: How to protect sensitive data in school?

    Sensitive data within a school includes, but is not limited to, the private details of pupils, parents and staff, pupils’ academic, health and psychological information, staff salary and career details as well as data relating to school management. This data could be stored on local PCs, mobile storage devices, servers located in the school or elsewhere (increasingly in the cloud), or on print outs from a private or shared printer. Insufficient protection or the improper disclosure of such data could result in a breach of privacy or infringement of data protection laws.

    Actions that should be taken into consideration, include:

    1. Maintaining two separate computer network environments, one for pupil, staff and parent interactions and the other on a highly secure server for administration.

    2. Keeping your anti-virus protection systems updated to avoid becoming a target of hackers.

    3. Encrypting and password-protecting sensitive data, and never store un-encrypted data on a portable device.

    4. Providing staff with basic training on protecting sensitive data – contact your national Data Protection Commissioner’s office for training support.

    5. Creating a rigorously applied protocol for copying or downloading sensitive data from the administrative systems and avoid doing this whenever possible.

    6. Running back ups of according devices regularly.

    Tip! Do not leave sensitive documents sitting on the public printer! Make sure you shred such documents before putting them in the recycling bin. Moreover, avoid collecting sensitive data, unless it is necessary. What you do not have, you cannot compromise!

  • Q9: Using mobiles devices in schools, what to take care of?

    The use of mobile devices means that easy. access to the internet is ubiquitous and available to all. The presence of mobile phones offers unprecedented opportunities when used proactively and creatively in the classroom although they can sometimes prove disruption leading to undesirable behaviour such as cheating and bullying, . Either way, it is recommended that schools develop a policy on their possession and use on the school premises for both staff and students. 
    Actions that should be taken into consideration, include: 
    1. Considering how mobile phones can be incorporated (more) constructively in the classroom.
    2. Including in your school policy rules on the carrying and use of mobile phones by staff and pupils; ensure that this is consistently applied throughout the school. The policy should at least answer the following questions:
    a. When is the use of mobile phones on school grounds permitted / prohibited?
    b. Is it permitted to use photo and video applications, and under which conditions can the resulting photo or film be published?
    c. Where should mobile phones be kept during class?
    d. Can pupils access the Wi-Fi network of the school with their mobile?
    e. What type of content can be consumed
    f. What are the consequences of a breach of the mobile phone policy?
    3. Developing a section within your school eSafety policy on how digital technologies can and cannot be used in the classroom.
    4. Organising regular discussions with the staff and pupils to review the mobile phone policy and to discuss actions to be taken when a breach of the policy occurs.
    5. Informing parents about the school’s mobile phone policy, why these measures are taken and what possible consequences a breach of the policy can result in.

    In case of confiscation of a mobile phone, the pupil should turn off the phone before handing it to the teacher, to ensure the protection of the private data on the phone. If the phone is not returned at the end of the school day, parents should be informed and the mobile phone should be kept in a secure place.
    If students are allowed to access the school’s Wi-Fi network using their mobile phones, this should be a different network from the secure one used for staff/core business.

  • Q10: Should I change my password more frequently?

    Many online tools require registration. Creating a password is something we do very often, but do we give it enough thought? A strong password can help to protect your online reputation and some basic rules of password security must be rigorously applied.

    Useful recommendations:

    1. A password is an important key that unlocks access to your system; avoid giving new users a standard “first access” password!
    2. Ensure your system attributes a different password to each newcomer, and ask them to generate their own password the first time they access the school system.
    3. Remind staff and pupils of the 4 golden rules to creating a secure password:

    a. Make it long and complex, ideally between 10 and 14 characters; the length of password is the most important aspect of password strength
    b. Use a mix of numerals, symbols, upper- and lower-case letters and punctuation;
    c. Use mnemonic devices to help you remember it i.e. an acronym for a sentence such as “My daughter, Harriet, is a great tennis player” becomes “Md,h,=gr8tP” or “I love singing in the rain every single day!” becomes “I<3SitR364!”
    d. Never use any personally identifying information in the password. This includes names, birthdates, pets, street addresses, schools, phone numbers, license plate numbers, etc. These will be first guesses for anyone trying to gain access to your account.

    4. Incorporate the essential rules on password management in your eSafety Policy; invite teachers to look at the AUP with their class frequently as a reminder of what they have signed up to.

    Remind yourself: A password is like a toothbrush; it should never be shared and should be well managed either by changing it or using a password manager tool like Dashlane or LastPass! If users really feel they need to write down their password, this should be kept well away from the device it gives access to.

    Keep your school up to date with latest ICT developments and have a look at the services of the eSafety Label project for further support.

  • B3: Copyright

  • Q11: Should the teachers who share their materials request copyright?

    Copyright protects your published or unpublished work from unauthorized duplication without due credit and compensation. Copyright covers not only books but also advertisements, articles, graphic designs, labels, letters (including emails), lyrics, maps, musical compositions, product designs, etc.

  • Q12: What are Creative Commons licenses and how do they work?

    Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardised way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.

    All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. 

  • Q13: How can I find material (photos, videos, presentations, music) that is copyright-safe?

    Searching for reusable content is an important function enabled by Creative Commons. You can use Google to search for Creative Commons content, look for pictures at Flickr, albums at Jamendo, and general media at spinxpress. The Wikimedia Commons, the multimedia repository of Wikipedia, is a core user of the Creative Commons licenses as well. For music, you can take a look at the eTwinning article "Malbert’s Melodier: Music for Teachers from a Teacher", which informs the readers about a collection of royalty free music developed for eTwinning. 

    For further information, have a look at the Creative Commons website. 
    Learn more about the share-a-like concept here.