BCS has developed a new package which, quite simply, it calls e-safety. Whereas the ECDL is designed for a range of potential audiences, e-safety has been expressly put together for schools. And of course it is all about the internet. I did the test and passed! Not sure what I would have done if I’d failed. Probably banished myself to Siberia.

Lesson plans

The package comprises 30 hours of learning, of which 20 are guided. 20 lesson plans are provided mapped to the curriculum for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and there is the test, which I took to verify that the candidate has understood the concepts that have been presented in the lessons.

You are taken through fundamentals like how to delete files and the role and importance of the Recycle Bin, the history file in the browser and similar. You also learn about malware and how to combat it by ensuring you keep all your software up to date. The importance of firewalls and anti-virus software are explained and triple underlined.

Social networking sites get a lot of attention

Social networking site do’s and don’t, understandably, get a great deal of attention as they are probably the most used applications by children and young people across the world.

Sadly cyber bullying will be an issue in practically every school in the country. A lot of it will be linked to social networking sites, but some will not and may involve mobile phones or other internet enabled devices. These are also dealt with in some depth on the course and there is a particular section that addresses reporting abusive behaviour, whether to the site where the bad behaviour happened or is happening, or to the police or CEOP in certain types of cases.

Cookies are explained and real situations are simulated so that students can learn from and in environments which they will readily recognise. The language is typically plain and straightforward, which of course it needs to be, not for the kids but usually for the teachers!

It wasn’t the funkiest presentation I’ve seen of late but it certainly was thorough, plus you’ve got the extra reassurance of the BCS imprimatur. Anyone who gets beyond their pass mark will definitely have shown they have the knowledge to use the internet safely. It covers everything that might be referred to in any of the curricula used in the schools of the four nations within the UK.

Find out more about e-Safety

John Carr