By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
Explain what safeguarding is.
Explain the difference between safeguarding and child protection.
Describe who safeguarding is for.
Name your safeguarding team or officer.
Identify the connection between blended learning and safeguarding implications.
Check with your school and get in touch with the safeguarding officer. Ask them for the existing safeguarding policies and make sure they cover the use of technology and consider blended and/or flipped learning needs.
In this lesson, we cover some of the challenges that a blended model can raise and the importance of addressing them in the safeguarding policy.
Let's take an example of a school that is implementing a Day A/Day B model. This model will blend face-to-face instructions with online learning. The plan is to have students come to school on Day A to learn in a face-to-face environment, and on Day B, they stay at home and complete their work online.
Now let's take a few minutes and think about the possible challenges this will raise for some of the students. We have listed a few below:
Vulnerable students are spending more time at home, possibly in a less safe or neglectful environment instead of being in their school where they may feel safer.
Students have less contact with their teachers on Day B, and teachers may have a lesser chance of noticing something wrong is going on.
Higher possibility of students being victims of cyber-bullying with Day B being added to the school schedule.
Teachers on Day B may require synchronous meetings with the students. These meetings require cameras to be turned on for the teacher to verify the students are doing their work. Having a camera turned on for all students during the class raises safeguarding challenges such as controlling what is being displayed on the camera or the students' surroundings.
Requires an acceptable use policy that will outline student and teacher expectations of how to behave with technology and will define what acceptable behavior and use of hardware and networks look like.
Other concerns may include:
Online safety is now a major concern. Students are working online to complete their schoolwork with a high possibility of not being supervised if their parents or carers are working or not available when the student is completing their work online.
Students working online may be more exposed to content that is age-inappropriate or harmful, as well as being left isolated while working online, which may result in them becoming disadvantaged or being taken advantage of because they have no direct supervision.
Students may not be aware of the dangers of sharing their personal information on the online platforms or of downloading files that may contain harmful content, viruses or spyware.
As a teacher, you may not be the one responsible for creating or updating the safeguarding policy in your school. But you can inquire about it with your safeguarding officer or team and advocate to have the policy reviewed and updated.
Review the Pamoja Education Safeguarding Policy for an example of what should be covered in your school's safeguarding policy.
To find out more, read the following articles.