Apps for Teachers and Education - GoBubble

The second in our series of peer-to-peer reviews of apps being used by schools


Featured AppsHere at E-safety Support, we are regularly contacted by our members who want to know a little more about a new app they are investigating for their school.

Following our first review of ClassDojo, we received a number of comments from fellow teachers, which allowed others to make more informed decisions about whether to use it in their schools. Thank you all for your input.

As our series on educational apps grows, our intention at E-safety Support is to provide a useful arena for teachers to share their comments, allowing others to evaluate the feedback and help them decide if the app is for them.

We continue our series with GoBubble

The age limit on using sites like Facebook may be 13 but that does not stop four out of five primary school kids admitting to using social media at least once a day. Determined to give parents and teachers the tools to deal with this growing trend, former police sergeant and e-safety guru, Henry Platten took matters into his own hands, developing a safe social media platform that young children can use.

GoBubble from eCadets is designed to put an end to unwanted friend requests, dubious content and the potential for cyber-bullying. It allows children to take advantage of the best bits of social media without any of the negative aspects. With GoBubble children can chat online with school friends, share jokes, pictures or videos and learn about different cultures by making new friends of the same age from around the world.

“We need to accept that our kids love social media and will use it no matter what the age limit is, so my view is, don’t ban them, just provide them with a safe alternative that has all of the up sides but none of the down sides,” says Henry Platten founder of the multi-award winning eCadets. “GoBubble is that safe alternative.”

What are your thoughts on GoBubble?
If you are using GoBubble in your school, or have had experience of the app and would like to share your thoughts to help other E-safety Support members, please use the comments section below, or email tina@e-safetysupport.com.

Are there apps you would like to discuss?
If you would like to ask about other apps that interest you, please let us know by emailing tina@e-safetysupport.com.

Written by E-safety Support on March 30, 2017 10:22

Apps for Teachers and Education

A new series of peer-to-peer reviews of apps being used in education


Featured AppsHere at E-safety Support, we are regularly contacted by our members who want to know a little more about a new app they are investigating for their school.

Very often, these enquiries relate less to the features of the app, but more about how other schools are using them, how they are helping within the setting and what (if any) have been the snags.

We know that you, our members, have a vast array of knowledge and 'on the ground' experience of a great many apps and hoped that you would share your experienced with fellow teachers.

At E-safety Support our intention is to provide a useful arena for teachers to share their comments, allowing others to evaluate the feedback and help them decide if the app is for them.

We begin our series with ClassDojo

ClasDojoClassDojo is a US based app which "connects teachers with students and parents to build amazing classroom communities"

ClassDojo is essentially a communication app which, in brief, allows schools to share photos, class work, videos, messages etc. The app is designed to provide a flexible way to share this information with the whole school community.

We have received a specific question regarding this app from one of our members:

We are considering starting to use the free App 'Class Dojo' as a method to contact parents. Are you aware of any issues with this and have you and advice on how our e-safety policy should change to take into account this new method of interaction with parents and carers?

We contacted the makers of the app with this question. They replied confirming "We work really hard to make sure we are in full-compliance of all laws. We are also Privacy Shield certified for the EU".

High View Primary School would highly recommend the app. "Classdojo is fantastic. Most teachers in our school use it and the kids love it. The children are in class groups and other groups eg. Higher level maths group. They collect a given amount of awards that translates into team points and ultimately class prizes."

Can you help?
If you are using ClassDojo in your school, or have had experience of the app and would like to share your thoughts to help other E-safety Support members, please use the comments section below, or email tina@e-safetysupport.com.

Are there apps you would like to discuss?
We will be featuring the new GoBubble app from eCadets in our next app review. Have you used it in your school? Have you found it useful, easy to use, beneficial? Or, are you considering using it but have questions of your own? Please let us know.

If you would like to ask about other apps that interest you, please let us know by emailing tina@e-safetysupport.com.

Written by E-safety Support on February 09, 2017 13:37

The importance of parental engagement

Alan Foster WorkshopWith the fallout from cyber-bullying and sexting regularly hitting the front pages - unfortunately in most cases when the ultimate price has already been paid – you would have thought it would be easy to engage parents/careers when it comes to trying to combat the issue. However, this is not always the case, and with Ofsted now recommending that parents attend regular e-safety sessions schools are under increasing pressure.

Trust and understanding...
The difficulties arise because parents/carers don’t know what they don’t know. They are, rightly so, trusting of their children and also feel overwhelmed by some of the new technologies that they are using. Many adults turn to the younger generation to help them sort out their own technical problems and believe that they have a lot more knowledge than they themselves do. This can lead them to feeling vunerable and not wanting to appear as though they don’t understand this technical world around them.

It isn’t always that parents/carers don’t want to get involved, but they need help to understand the issues and how they can affect their children. Often, when you have the opportunity to explain these issues further and to explore them in more detail, it’s as though the ‘penny drops’ and you can see them nodding and beginning to recognise some of the behaviours they have seen in their children. Let’s face it, why would parents/carers understand issues such as sexting? This is a whole new way of ‘courting’ that they themselves would never have experienced. If you don’t understand the issues, then you can’t be expected to help, guide and support.

A classic example that highlights a combination of parents’ trusting their children and not understanding the full implications of their online activity took place at a boarding school recently. A pupil rang her mum to say that a friend of hers had put a post on Facebook to invite friends to a party at his house. He had put a picture of the house, full address, directions and description of the street, house everything - so that people could find it.

Her mum immediately rang the school to report the issue, but the response from the parent whose child has posted the invitation was not one of shock/horror that the boy had posted this information on Facebook, but that he had been told he could only invite a few friends and should never have invited more than about six. They totally missed the implication of what he had done!

This kind of story - alongside the fact that much of a child’s online activity will take place outside of school hours, is why schools working to get parents involved in safeguarding their children (and themselves) online - forms a key part of the new e-safety guidelines.

Education, education, education...
Just as parents/carers may be chasing the next new smart phone, children are always on the look out for the next new app to communicate with friends, and it doesn’t take long for an app to go viral. We can’t expect parents to always be on top of this which is why it is important for them to get that information from a third party; someone who can point them in the right direction to get the information they need, who can teach them the new terminologies and tell them where to go if they need help.

Through attending a school-hosted e-safety awareness session for just 1.5 hours, a couple of times a year, parent/carers can learn all they need to know to raise their own awareness and to not feel as though they are miles behind their children’s knowledge. When this is backed up with regular updates and even parent training courses, they will also feel supported when they tackle the topic with their children. After all, a parent with knowledge and understanding, is a parent with power.

Visit our partners page to find out more about the face-to-face sessions available from Fantastict. You can also find out more about the parent engagement resources and online training for parents available from E-safety Support.

Written by Alan Foster on October 29, 2014 11:38


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