I enjoyed the Excited festival even though I didn’t get to see as much of it as I would have liked due to my commitments with the Youth Media Team. What I did see impressed me though, as it seemed to be a genuine attempt to bring together many of the stakeholders in our education system – teachers, students, policy makers and industry. It was heartening to see both teachers and students involved in a very real way across the two days of the event. For me, the stars of the show were the BT Young Scientist former winners, Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Emer Hickey. They reported back on Friday’s proceedings during Saturday’s event in a confident, articulate and kick ass way!
Of course, it was just my luck to be involved in a panel directly after their slot! I was honoured to be included in a panel but, if I’m honest, I was frustrated at my input on the panel. I find panels difficult to prepare for due to their diverse nature and it can sometimes be difficult to get in when you want to. A perfect example of this was the topic of online safety and cyber bullying that was part of the discussion on my panel. My tuppence worth on the topic is that this is not just an issue for schools. Parents need to take responsibility for this crucial aspect of their child’s safety and we need to be careful as educators that we don’t allow parents to abdicate their responsibility here. A tweet from a while back comes to mind!
As a parent myself, I take this aspect of my children’s safety very seriously and find it difficult to understand when others just seem to accept that they are completely out of the loop in this area of their children’s lives. Schools aren’t expected to assume responsibility for children’s physical safety outside of school hours so I’m a bit baffled as to why they are expected to assume responsibility for their online safety. I didn’t get a chance to say this on the day so I’m saying it now 🙂