Teachers throughout the country are to receive internet and IT security training throughout November and early December through specially organised workshops organised by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).
The NCTE is an agency of the Department of Education and Science, which provides advice, support and information on the use of ICT in education.
Over the coming weeks, its ICT Advisory Service will be organising Internet Safety and Security for Schools workshops in regional education centres. In the workshop the ICT Advisor will identify the online safety issues for pupils, outline steps that schools can take to minimise the risks and demonstrate some of the internet safety tools that are available. Industry experts will outline security issues and provide guidelines on how best schools can deal with them.
Principals, teachers, ICT co-ordinators, representatives of boards of management and parents’ representatives are invited to attend each workshop. Places are limited and prior booking is required through the education centres.
Discussing the workshops, Jerome Morrissey, director of NCTE, noted that while the internet was an increasingly rich source of educational content, there were potential risks inherent in internet use. “We shouldn’t be alarmed but we should strive to minimise these risks by informing ourselves of what they are and how to minimise them.”
The NCTE is part of the European Information Society’s Safer Internet Programme. Under this, the NCTE has developed Webwise to focus on raising awareness of online safety issues and good practice in schools. This initiative provides resources and advice to the education community regarding internet safety. In addition, its schools training programme is part of the Government’s Make IT Secure campaign, a national awareness and information campaign focusing on the issue of IT security.
By Brian Skelly