DfE Funding for schools set up G Suite for Education

Schools can now apply for Department for Education-funded support to get set up on G Suite for Education

 
From April 24th, schools and responsible bodies can apply for Department for Education-funded support to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.  As an accredited Google for Education partner and provider of this support, we’re here to help. 

 

Why G Suite for Education?

G Suite for Education contains a free set of productivity tools for classroom collaboration. Accessible from any device, it is used by over 120m+ users worldwide and enables teachers and students to continue teaching and learning remotely. Google Classroom helps teachers to organise learning activity, hand out & mark assessments and provide structure for students learning at home. Teach From Home provides teachers with easy-to-use resources to get started with G Suite and how the tools can be used during this time. 

 

To find out more about whether G Suite for Education is right for your school, sign up to join our virtual office hours. 

Is your school eligible for funding?

Schools that do not currently have a digital education platform are eligible for funding. Schools that already have G Suite, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils, are also eligible. 

What is included?

The funding will cover the cost of service to carry out:

  • End-to-end set up of G Suite for Education

  • Integration with your Management Information Systems to provision Google Classroom

  • Core security settings to support remote education

  • Creation of a central “remote learning hub” site for your school

  • Handover training for your school’s staff Apply for funding

 

We can help to carry out a safe, secure and professional set up of your platform, including sharing best practices on domain settings and feature enablement. 

 

If you would like to apply for funding you will need to visit the digital education platform hub to get the ball rolling. We would encoursgae you to select our partner, Levett Consultancy, as your preferred supplier on the Deployment Support Request Form.

Develop students cyber skills

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK (CSC UK) to give students free access to ‘CyberLand’ from 1st May 2020.
CyberLand is a virtual city which provides gamified modules teaching the fundamentals of cyber security such as firewall configuration and digital forensics. There are 16 interactive exercises which are suitable for 12-18 year-olds.

The resources are designed around the concept of protecting ‘CyberLand’ from a cyber-attack and can be accessed here:

A key aim of this initiative is to provide a safe environment for young people to develop their cyber skills whilst mitigating the risk of them inadvertently committing cyber crime offences.

These exercises will be free to access over the coming months to those who wish to develop cyber skills.

The CyberLand Product also contains a module on the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which aims to educate the target audience on the laws governing the cyber landscape. It also signposts them to more positive pathways such as opportunities linked to their digital skills.

These resources should not be regarded as appropriate only to students who are interested in computer science, IT or related subjects. The level of access to ‘CyberLand’ is set to ensure broad appeal and engagement.

It would be appreciated if you could circulate this to schools and if appropriate, directly to students.

Zoom- Important Safeguarding Update

Janet CSIRT would like to bring to your attention some recent reports in relation to Online Video Conferencing Platforms we have seen.  Due to the restrictions related to Covid-19, the use of online video conferencing has seen a significant increase and understandably, organisations are trying to facilitate as many of their previous services and interactions in an online format.  However, as with many good intentioned endeavors to include as wide an audience as possible, the opportunity for exploitation exponentially increases with it.  We are aware of "Zoom" meetings being specifically targeted by malicious ‘raiding’ groups and so this information should be considered when using such software.

Many conferencing platforms offer the opportunity to host meetings without the need for any other verification other than the link or meeting ID number. In efforts to appeal and incorporate as many individuals as possible, such Meeting ID and Links are publicly shared.

We have received reports over the last few days alerting us to Video Conferences which have been joined by individuals whose sole intent is to cause disruption and distress and upon joining a video conference have then proceeded to display indecent, potentially illegal imagery to the other participants which could constitute an offence under Section 1(1)(b)of the Protection of Children Act 1978.

Therefore we would suggest that you consider cascading the following points and sources of advice to any organisation individuals that may be responsible for hosting/arranging online conferencing in order that requisite safety precautions can be implemented to minimise the risk of such occurrences becoming more widespread.
 

* Ensure that Meeting Passwords are required to join and that they are not published in an uncontrolled manner.

* Don’t use social media to share conference links as malicious groups can search social media for these meeting ID/links.

* Use the “Waiting “Room” feature to have participants wait until the host arrives and vet participants prior to entering the meeting.

* Limit screen-sharing ability to the host. Using the host controls at the bottom.

* Turn off file transfer: In-meeting file transfer allows people to share files through the in-meeting chat. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited pics, GIFs, memes and other content.

* Disable private chat: Zoom has in-meeting chat for everyone or participants can message each other privately. Restrict participants’ ability to chat amongst one another.  This is really to prevent anyone from getting unwanted messages during the meeting

*Allow only signed-in/Registered users to join: If someone tries to join your meeting and isn’t logged into a Zoom account, they will receive the message ‘This meeting is for authorised attendees only’.

*Zoom meeting host logging does have IP logging that can record attendees and that IP data can be used to report abuse.

Below are some further sources which detail some of the points listed above:-

https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/zoom-security-ten-tips/34729/

https://www.ucop.edu/local-it-client-services/_files/security-tips-on-sharing-zoom-meeting-links-and-zoom-settings.pdf

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/video-conferencing-services-security-guidance-organisations


If anyone has any further information or would like some additional advice then please contact Jisc at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Remote Learning Resources

The Royal Academy of Engineering have produced a comprehensive document detailing online provisions for all STEM subjects with a brief overview of each. There are resources for pupils from KS1 to KS5 covering science, DT and computing.

Please feel free to share this document amongst members of your schools and further afield.  

The DfE are also contacting schools to share advice on remote learning resources. The full list of resources recommended by the DfE can be viewed here.

  • Importantly, the list is not mandatory, and includes advice for schools to continue using the resources they already have.
  • Whilst the list is not extensive, it is not as limited as once feared, and there is a clear message for suppliers that they can apply to be included in future iterations – we are seeking a named contact within the Department who we can liaise with on this issue.
  • The list does include links to both LendED and EdTech Impact, offering teachers the chance to select additional resources that have been through a process of curation and qualification.

E2BN's own online learning resources can be accessed free of charge and from home

Online Learning - Learning Lessons from Others

As teachers, pupils and parents begin to adjust to what is to become the new normal of distant learning we though we'd share some of the early lessons that we are learning from schools and homes across the country.

Schools across the country have taken very different approaches to distance learning with some providing homework type tasks and others embrassing a range of technology to provide interactive live streaming teaching. For most schools it has been a case of doing the best they can with what is available. 

Examples of good practise:

  • Teachers and senior leaders modelling appropriate behaviour
  • Having fun and making the day a little bit brighter. Do something to make people smile. A colleague of mine in the West Midlands has his team attend video calls wearing hats! 
  • Have a virtual coffee break - all staff join a scheduled conference call/ skype/ google hangout once a day just to chat, share ideas, celebrate sucesses and check in on each other
  • Utalising the wealth of subscription services that are offering free access at this time. We have listed some here
  • Teachers utalising video tutorials - all the major online services have 'how to' videos mostly hosted on YouTube
  • Providing pupils with activities that can be done on a smart phone - for example Google forms are quick and easy to build allowing multiple choice, short free text and long free text answers amongst others. Forms can be shared via email or a weblink. Pupils can respond using a smart phone. And responses are collated for you. Tutorial here
  • Providing parents of early years children with ideas for 'real' things to do - ie treasure hunts, easy crafts, sensory play activities, maths activities, science activities
  • Keeping in contact with pupils via school website
  • Sharing online safety advice with parents/pupils
  • Reminding parents that this is about home learning not home education. 

Commmon issues:

  • Capacity can be a problem
    • A number of online services have experienced downtime during to high volumes of traffic
    • Some Apps not updating in real time leading to pupils appearing to be late posting their work
    • Individual teachers being inundated with emails from parents all asking substancially the same questions. If teachers have access to the school Twitter ccount culd they tweet out responses to common questions?
    • "Teachers being expected to fly a plane that is still being built". Sir Jim Knight. Too much is being asked of teachers who are strugging to deal with new ways of teaching whilst supervising their own children and worrying about buying toilet roll! This also applies to head teachers, parents and pupils!
  • Technology
    • School kit not up to the job
    • Broadband too slow - Contact us at the email below. we might be able to help
    • Satff not able to access the school network - If you are an E2BN? Internet4schools we will set up a school VPN free of charge to enable staff to access the school network. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Not all pupils having access to suitable technology at home. Not every family will have a laptop per child (especially if mum or dad are working from home), or a printer or a scanner. But most of them will have a smart phone. Design onlearning that can be done using a smart phone.

Dubious practise

  • Launching a new online learning environment at this time.
  • Expecting teachers to use their personal email adddresses/ social media accounts to communicate with parents/pupils.
  • Asking teachers to complete a detailed diary of what they have done during the day
  • Embracing the technolgy without considering the safeguarding issues 
    • Live streaming/video conferencing - what's in the background? Is the video feed of children being recorded?
    • Not having and following a clear school online safety policy
    • Forgetting about pupil and staff well-being
  • Providing lesson activities that pupils have to download, print out, scan or photograph and then upload. Not everyone has the technology to do this and ink is expensive! 

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