Web 2.0 and E-Safety

We had an introductory session on Web 2.0 applications and primarily looked at blogs. We watched a few video clips on blogging and gained a large insight into how it could  be used to extend children’s learning. E-safety was also discussed.


Web 2.0 and Blogs

Web 2.0 is a term that was introduced in 2004 and refers to the second generation of the World Wide Web.

There have been tremendous technological improvements to the web as websites have become much more dynamic, interactive and interconnected, making it easier to share information all around the world. Examples of the new features of Web 2.0 include:

  • Blogs – also known as Web logs allow users to post thoughts about their life online.
  • Wikis – sites like Wikipedia and others enable users to add and update online content.
  • Social networking – sites like Facebook and MySpace allow users to create and customise their profiles and communicate with family and friends.

Many of the features are free and easy to set up and have thus grown in popularity all over the world.

There are many 2.0 websites; some of the most popular ones can be seen at the following link:


Despite the vast technological advances, Web 2.0 is not without its drawbacks. Most prominent among these is the argument that social networking websites can discourage people from establishing relationships in the ‘real world’ in favour of superficial ones. I have found evidence for this from a variety of online debates; here is a link of one such debate:


Bearing this is mind; the teacher is thus presented with the difficult challenge of encouraging the use of Web 2.0 whilst teaching children that they should not use the internet as the only means of establishing relationships with people.

We looked at blogs in our first I.C.T. session and gained a large insight into how they could be used to extend the learning of children in school.

The following link particularly helped to open my eyes to the world of blogging:


Having never used a blog myself I was particularly interested to learn how to create one.

A blog is an online journal that provides children with an outlet for their thoughts, opinions and sharing of interests. There are many advantages of blogging:

  • Children use them to post work to show family and friends in other parts of the world.
  • To discuss school-related issues with classmates such as homework and receive help from each other.
  • Children have a sense of freedom to write what they like and the idea of writing to a world audience is more likely to engage children than the traditional method of writing on paper.
  • Blogs also help with literacy since they contain spell checker.
  • Blogs also give a voice to quiet children who lack the confidence to speak and answer questions in class.

The advantages of blogging are further highlighted by the following links:



Thus it is clear blogging is a brilliant resource for children.

Despite the vast benefits of blogging, e-safety is an obvious issue and concern. From the video clips shown in class and indeed from our discussion with the class teacher and peers, I learnt that, should they wish, schools have the power to stop children’s blogs from being commented on by people outside of the school. Children are also told that they should not publish personal information other than their first names.


E-safety was also discussed in class and we were asked to complete an e-safety form (see below):

                      ICT IN THE CLASSROOM – E SAFETY


A.   Consider Health and safety issues including those relating to the use of the Internet in primary schools


Who is responsible for e-safety in schools and what are the key issues?

E-safety is a whole school issue. Teachers have a duty of care to raise awareness of e-safety issues among children. The development of effective strategies however involves the support of not only teachers but the head teacher, governors, support staff, the I.C.T. co-ordinator who may also be the e-safety co-ordinator, parents and pupils. The e-safety co-ordinator acts as the central point of contact for all safety issues within the school, ensuring that policies are current and adhered to. They are also responsible for monitoring and reporting any breaches of e-safety to the head teacher and governors and are responsible for ensuring all staff receive information on any emerging e-safety issues. E-safety should be enforced in conjunction with other school policies including Behaviour, Child Protection and Anti-Bullying and should be built into the curriculum.

E-safety is designed to educate children about the benefits, risks and safe use of computers and electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology.

E-safety is concerned with the safe-guarding of children in the digital world and encourages children to use technology in a positive way. It is not about restriction but about education.

It ensures that children are prevented from accessing content of an inappropriate nature, from exchanging information with and talking to strangers via social networking sites and also educates them on the issue of cyber-bullying and ways to combat it.

How are parents and carers informed about e-safety?  Where can parents find out about health and safety issues regarding their children’s use of the internet?

Parents are informed by the school e-safety policy in the school prospectus and website and by teachers at parents’ evening.

The internet is also a good tool for finding out about e-safety. This is a particularly useful website:


What are the rules about photos of children on a school website?

 Schools must gain the consent of parents or carers before publishing any photos of children on the school website. Children should not be named in photos. Many schools do not publish photos of individual children and avoid publishing photos of children in PE kits or swimming gear.

How long should you allow a child to work on a pc?

 Children up to the age of three should have little or no screen time. Then a maximum of an hour-and-a-half up to the age of seven, and a maximum of two hours up to the age of 18 before breaks are taken.

Answers to questions were found from the following websites:









B. Digital Identity

Digital Identity’ (DI) is a term to describe the persona an individual presents across all the digital communities in which he or she is represented.

What would someone who searches the Web for you find?

My Facebook page.

Does it reflect the image of yourself you want to portray?

Yes, content is of an appropriate nature.

 If there is something about you on the Web, how would you find out about it?

 By typing in my name into a search engine.

What does it say about somebody if they have no Web presence in today’s world?

They may not have joined a social networking website

Are you responsible for encouraging others to have a digital identity?

As a teacher, it would be important to educate children about the dangers of having a digital identity.

If so, what are the things you should tell them about their digital identity?

To reveal as little information about themselves as possible; addresses, full names and phone numbers should not be published online. Settings should also be set to privacy on social networking websites such as facebook.

What ethical standards should be considered?

Children should be told not to publish personal information about themselves and others and indeed should they post pictures of friends and family they should first gain consent.

What can you find out about your digital identity?

I was not aware my Facebook was not set to privacy settings so a lot of information about me including address and pictures of other people have been online for the world to view. In light of this exercise, I have now updated my privacy settings.

















































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