Where’s Klaus?

On Tuesday I went to a conference for NQTs newly appointed to Birmingham LEA. Once of the sessions focused on using new technologies in a school context, and the presenter showed us this video aimed at encouraging parents to become aware of esafety.

I am a bit conflicted about this film. On the one hand I really don’t believe in scare tactics with regards to esafety, and I think trying to scare people who do not fully understand the benefits of new technologies is likely only to lead to over the top blocking and rejection of these technologies. For me, blocking is not the final answer to this, as I can only see it leading to ignorance up until the point young people are finally let loose on all the unsavory content the web has to offer. Instead I strongly feel we need to educate people to be responsible internet users. Some of them will access this content later in life, but the least we can do is educate them so that this happens out of choice, not out of ignorance.

On the other hand, people need to know just how horrific some of the content on the internet is, and at least through films like this they can do so without actually stumbling across it by accident. For this use I thought this film was brilliantly executed, although perhaps needs to be tempered with some discussion of the likelihood of some of these scenarios happening, and the easy steps that could be taken to avoid them.

It’s such a tricky thing esafety; you want people to understand and appreciate the dangers without turning them off to the hugely beneficial aspects of the technology that makes those dangers possible. I guess all we can do as teachers is try to reach the right balance.







4 responses to “Where’s Klaus?”

  1. simfin Avatar

    I use Klaus as an ice breaker with adults who work with children and parents – it’s slightly amusing and loud and makes them sit up a little. I don’t use it to scare but to acknowledge that the internet leaves us open to the world on the web – and we should be mindful of this.

    The other reason I use it is to show that e safety isn’t some kind of local hobby horse but an international concern (it’s a German resource isn’t it?).

    The concern I have is those who use CEOP materials and believe they can say they’ve covered e safety – when there are many other more likely and immediate challenges around bullying, data management, online identities, inappropriate adult behaviours, protecting adults from themselves (eg using own device to record that magic moment in class only to find there’s an AUP somewhere that they’re unaware of – and parents are questioning ‘why are you taking pictures of my child with your camera?’

    E safety is about recognising and managing *all* the risks and extends a lot further than the ‘stranger danger’ issues – albeit important.

    I have some resources on my wordpress site and most the others are on http://www.northerngrid.org


  2. oliverquinlan Avatar

    Totally agree Simon. I can see that as a starter to a presentation covering such aspects as you describe this would be a useful resource. The way it was presented to us was as part of a workshop touching on the potential uses of ICT. Problem was it was more powerful than the positive examples being shown, and I can imagine it would have scared off those NQTs who were already reluctant about using new technologies.

    It is an issue that the seemingly ‘big issues’ like this can push the more likely issues out of the limelight. Unfortunately in many situations I suspect that the culture of blocking in schools can often push issues such as cyberbullying towards happening away from the school’s scrutiny. I really have a problem with this attitude, as it feels to me like schools are shirking responsibility for educating young people about esafety and bullying by refusing to engage with the tools that carry the risk of such incidents.

    Lots of interesting issues surrounding this.

  3. simfin Avatar

    My emphasis is always.. be seen to manage the risks, use AUPs, training and infrastructure to allow you to work in the way you want to work, safely and safeguarding all members of the learning community. A useful analogy is outdoor pursuits – kids and adults will come to harm in dangerous environments but the benefits are such that we continue to do these within guidelines and practices that manage the risks to acceptable levels.

    Good luck with your work – and let me know if I can help with anything


  4. oquinlan Avatar

    Thanks Simon, I will. =)

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