Lithuanian educators improve skills in safer ICT usage and Cyber threat prevention

Nowadays safe internet usage has become a very relevant issue in the rapidly developing information society. Due to this reason, the Centre of Information Technologies in Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania is collaborating in an alliance with Langas I Ateiti and Microsoft Lithuania to support initiating and advanced training materials and e-courses for teachers, under the title: "What should educators know about the threats on the internet?"

The e-course was developed to provide Lithuanian educators with theoretical and practical information about kids’ protection from the threats on internet. The project was implemented in 2011 and ended in December. Despite this short period of time, over 1500 primary and secondary school teachers, social pedagogues, psychologists and school administrators from all over Lithuania registered for the training.


"There is a lot of data about internet threats and prevention on the web but it is rather complicated and timetaking for teachers to choose the most suitable one. For this reason our goal was to gather all possible and most relevant information into one training curriculum and to specify the most usual problems while offering simple solutions. The training materials are enriched with useful links for deeper analysis and practice." – said Loreta Krizinauskiene, director of Langas I Ateiti.

In the opinion of Mindaugas Glodas, Microsoft Baltics's General Manager: "The development of technologies creates new ways of modern teaching. That is why it is so critically important to provide teachers with modern e-skills and IT solutions that could make learning processes more attractive and effective."

Participation in the e-course was the inspiration for a majority of pedagogues to initiate classes for children at their schools on safe behaviour online. "I am an IT teacher at school for many years. And I am a mother of three kids of my own at home. That is why this e-course was very useful for me – as a mother and as a teacher. I couldn‘t say I was unaware of all the information but it was a great opportunity to remember this issue and to update the knowledge I had before."– told one of the secondary school teachers.

The feedback from the project participants was positive. The demand on knowledge in safer internet issue in Lithuania became clear - most of educators would like to continue the e-course training in safer internet usage.

 

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Comment by Nick Jeans on February 7, 2012 at 13:13

This is the advice from Youth Work Online in the UK:

Today is Safer Internet Day 2012 - this year's theme of ‘Connecting generations and educating each other’, and the slogan "Discover the digital World together...safely!"
Beat Bullying have just released "Virtual Violence II: Progress and Challenges in the Fight against Cyberbullying"commissioned by Nominet Trust and in collaboration with the National Association of Head Teachers. The report is commissioned by Nominet Trust and in association with the NAHT. It will be unveiled in a hard-hitting Panorama documentary airing on the BBC tonight and reveals that cyberbullying, as a weapon of choice amongst the nation's youth, is showing no signs of dissipating, with 350,222 children – or 1 in 13 – experiencing persistent and intentional cyberbullying, with just under a quarter (23%) reporting that the bullying lasted for a year or more, and two in five (40%) said that it lasted for months or weeks. If you missed the Panorama report check it out online on BCCiPlayer.
When developing, delivering & evaluating E-safety messages and activities consider the following:
RELEVANCY It is important to identify the understanding and young people’s experiences specifically on internet safety. Be considerate and initially explore issues about sharing photos (consent to post images & images appropriate to be posted) experiences of online cyber bullying. If you haven’t run a session with young people about cyberbullying there are some excellent resources produced by Childnet designed specifically for secondary schools see www.digizen.org, http://cybermentors.org.uk/ and http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
Start from the relatively ‘low impact, high incidence’ risks as this may be more productive than starting from ‘high impact, low incidence’ risks.

REALISTIC - Asking young people not to tag themselves on any photos on a social network site is highly unlikely. Be realistic, instead safety messages should focus on supporting young people to think critically about what and with whom they share photos or comments with online. Social network sites do offer privacy and account settings options, however, they can be complex. Break down the information into ‘bite-size’ sections i.e. sharing personal information, photos security settings, posting messages etc.

POSITIVE - Activities and advice based on fear can have unintended consequences and negative impacts upon young people’s use of social media. It is important that safety messages and interventions are delivered in a balanced manner which encourages and supports young people to consider the positive and negative aspects of online social networking. Often a focus on the positive aspects of SNS will provide an opportunity to talk about safety and sensible conduct.

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