CEOP seek direct help from Trainer Community

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has taken the unprecedented descision to make a direct appeal for information via its website and a direct email to its trainers.  They feel they have exhausted all other channels and really need the help of the online community in tracing the man seen in the image (and video on the CEOP site).  The following is a direct quote from the CEOP email.

“He may not even realise himself that he could help us but he really could hold that vital final piece of the jigsaw.
We stress he is a potential witness and not a suspect.  He is described as white, 30 to 40 years old and 5ft 8in to 6ft tall.  He is of a medium to stocky build with short closely cropped brown hair, which has receded. and we are desperate to find him. 
If you have any information, know him or his whereabouts then please contact us on 0800 546 0030 or email  You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  Alternatively, visit us at where you can see CCTV footage and all contact details.”

Remember 35mm?

A few weeks back we discovered an old 35mm film lying around that hadnt been developed.  It turned out to be various bits’n’bobs from a few years back, but in particular I was thirlled to see it had some pics from a kayaking trip round Muckle Row, Shetland.  For anyone who enjoys sea kayaking and who hasnt been to shetland I would suggest that you book up for your nest holidays.  This is paradise if you like exploring serious caves, tunnels, arches etc…  I have put some more pics on Flickr, but they dont do the reality fo the scenery justice – you will just have to visit yourself and see!

Landlord Registration Scheme and web-trails

Working through a pile of paperwork that has built up over the last week or so (while I have been away on various training and CPD events including the Scottish Learning Festival and TeachMeet08) I found a renewal confirmation from a local authority managing their little bit of the landlord registration scheme.  The first house my wife and I bought, wasnt worth selling when we moved and there was someone who wanted to rent it from us…. so thats what we did.  The scheme makes the personal details (name and address) of people who rent one or more properties available over the interweb!  As one who is aware of my own web trail (an awareness that comes from trying to support young people to stay safe online) I was a little uncomfortable about this.  Just as well I read the small print – apparently the local authority has the right to withhold some or all of your details if they think that it will compromise oneones safety or the security of the property you own.  I have sent them an email, so will just wait to see if they accept my reasons.  On the web trail thought…. would be interested (if anyone has the time or will) to see what little nuggests you can dig up about me from my web trail.  Only rule is if I have revealed it on the blog then it doesnt count!  Gold star for the person who can find out the most obscure info.

TeachMeet08 at the Scottish Learning Festival 2008

Just signed up for this years TeachMeet08.  Without doubt the best CPD you can get with respect to ICT, Technology, and a chance to meet the people who are at the edge of using technology to take our students forward in their education.  This year I am glad to be able to get to both days of the learning festival, although it will be through the eyes of a new post, new remit and a new local authority. 

Looking forward in particular to having a chat with the Seemis people and the Glow team to see what options are available for integration with 3rd party oneline database applications, and to learn about the possible degree of customisation within both tools.

MTV Sticky

While trying to track down the full report for the MTV/Microsoft/etal survey (thanks for the lead David) I found two things.  Firstly thast the full report is internal to MTV and its partners, and that MTV have a site for those with an interesting following or studying youth trends.  I have signed up and initial explorations show a mix of the plan bizzare (Chewbacca mimobot® USB drive)


and the interesting. (Wiffiti a service to text places, rather than people!)

Its the kind of site that could have kept me going in interesting blog postings for years, but it would be selfish of me not to share it!  I would very much recomend the site to you – and I have only scratched its surface!

 You must try out 

A common vision for ICT coordinators?

5 years ago when I took up my current post, as the schools ICT coordinator, I had a very clear, and detailed vision of where I wanted the school to be in 5 years time.  I am glad to say that in many ways my vision has been fulfilled.  It is however time for me to figure out where the school is going in the next 5 years.  While each school will have aspects of ICT vision which are determined by levels of hardware, software or server provision, local expertise or the terms of a local or regional service agreement with an ICT provider, there must be a core vision which is common to all sound and forward looking ICT managers!The question is, what is that core vision?  With IT changing as fast as it does, what are the new technologies that we will be able to take advantage of?  What will be the implications of Glow once it has been in place for a year or so?  To new exciting things will be able to do with mobile phones, MP3/4 players, GPS devices or games consoles?  To what extent will we be able to make assumptions about what technology pupils have access to at home?While these questions are worth asking (and I am interested in your answers), I suspect that the answers to them will affect the fringe of the future vision.  I suspect that the main core of the vision will be based on taking what is already available and squeezing as much educational benefit out of it as possible.  At the moment I am developing the possible vision for the following areas in the hope that the big picture emerges out of the individual pieces.

  • Hardware
  • Server Technology
  • Software
  • Staff
  • Pupils
  • The internet / Web2.0 ???

I know that some of the above overlap, but I recon that they are the key areas for my context. All that said, I do think that there is a common vision for ICT coordinators, and would welcome comments and thoughts particularly from any ICT coordinators out there in the ether. 


That Traditional Mongolian Delicacy – Mars Bar Cheese cake

I will be heading down after school on Wednesday 19th September to TeachMeet07.  This is the first time that I will have made it although it is an event that I have wanted to go to for a while.  I cant get the day off work to go to the learning festival (gutted – wednesday looks like the best day), but am looking forward to catching up with some colleageus and meeting some new ones at the science centre.  Never having heard of the venue for dinner ( Khublai Khan’s ) I took a look at their site.  if you are unfamiliar with Mongolian cuisine, then you really should take a look at their menu! Its going to be a hard call between the crocodile and the mars bar cheese cake!  Whos choice was the venue?

Bebo. Their space or yours?

For those who subscribe to the tree house, sorry its been so long.Im back with some thoughts on how young people see bebo and other social networking sites.  I have been reflecting on various aspects of this for the last year or so, and for those who have followed my bebo ramblings I hope you find these thoughts worth a read!As the first member of my school community to have a bebo page, I have been able to watch its growth in my local community, and in particular within the student population.  In particular it has been interesting to see the response of students to my presence (in the capacity of the schools ICT coordinator) on what some of them see as their space.  I first created my bebo account to learn about networking sites, but very quickly it became a tool to help my students stay safe online.  This remains the primary focus even now.  It has however also had other benefits.  Since all the students in my school know I have a bebo page, some (or their parents) come to me when they or a friend feels threatened by something that is happening online.  Some students however have used my bebo page as a discussion board!  I should perhaps point out that I have kept my commenting on my own page to a minimum, as a number of the pupil comments were in relation to specific pupils or issues at the school.  A minority used it to question my motives for being on bebo, or question my character.  The hardest part of this was not being able to respond so these – I had taken a decisions that I would not delete any of the comments from students at my school.  This approach did however pay off, as soon there were students posting in my defence, and backing up my stance on online safety.“hay mr G u cant b more right about da whole ‘hide ur identiti’ thing a mean sombody has 2 make sure we dont giv away our identities without nowing it and I gess thats why
ur on Bebo? bt dat dosny mater c ya
Its worth pressing through the grief that we get from the minority.  Ultimately, I know I have changed the habits of many of the young people around here who use Bebo or similar sites.  A quick scan for surnames and locations shows that the majority have taken on board the message.  However, the new S1 have just about all got bebo accounts, despite being under 13.  Their homework for this week (if they had a bebo page) was to go home, get together with a friend, and check each others pages for clues that compromised their safety.  One lad came to me afterwards and said,”but what if my parents dont believe me that my homework is to go onto bebo!” My final thought on this for the moment, is that if I could go back and do all this again, there is one thing I would change.  I would have set up the account in the name of the school.  This would have made it clear that my presence on bebo was related to my work.  I think that every school should create a bebo account, and use it to remind students that 

  • most of bebo is very very public.
  • giving clues to your identity is easy and dangerous
  • its not their space…. its for everyone regardless of their age (over 13) or profession! 

TheirSpace? MySpace? OurSpace!