Parents brush up on e-safety

St Leonard’s First School in Dunston has hosted a workshop to help parents ensure their children stay safe online

The school joined forces with Staffordshire-based educational technology specialist Fantastict to host the evening course, which covered how to manage tablets and set up different restrictions to make them more secure for children to use.

The evening also explored various free apps and how parents could use them to help engage youngsters in educational use of their tablets and iPads. 

Course leader Sally Tippett said: “In addition to providing parents with peace of mind that they can ensure their children stay safe online we wanted to make the session fun and interactive.

“I wanted to show parents how easily their children can create exciting multimedia projects and use the iPad for learning as well as for games. We also explored augmented reality using children’s own drawings and brought their artwork alive with video explanations from the children themselves.”

The course was the brainchild of Headteacher at St Leonard’s Julie Lane, who was keen to promote the use of smart technology in school to enhance learning. School Business Manager, Caron Armstrong said:“At St Leonard’s we are keen to embrace smart technology as a teaching aid and the children regularly use iPads during lessons. With so many children having received iPads and tablets for Christmas we felt that this was a prime opportunity not only to showcase to parents how these tools can be harnessed educationally but also to advise them on how to ensure their children use them safely at home.

“The session was a huge success, with parents commenting on how useful they found the experience. We have followed the session up with regular newsletters that give further tips and advice as to useful apps such as Book Creator and Beebot, and we have also launched a successful ICT club on Thursdays after school. This has not only been a real hit with parents but has attracted members of the wider community keen to brush up their skills.

“Overall, we’re delighted with the way that the workshop went and would highly recommend a Fantastict workshop to other schools looking to engage parents in ICT matters.”