One2Ones News

Online Safety: Keeping It Safe With One2Ones

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By Ishy Levy

3 months ago
Home>Blogs>Online saf...
Timeless cliché it might be, but the internet is very much like the real world. It’s vast, it’s crowded, and it’s full of sights to see and things to teach us. But it also requires us to keep our eyes open and stay safe. True, it’s one of the few places where we never have to worry about catching COVID (and what a blessing that is!), but there are still plenty of risks we need to watch out for during our time on the “web”.

This isn’t to scare anyone off, of course! Over the last, pandemic-riddled year, the internet has saved many of us from the gloom and boredom of lockdown. Watching a film or playing games with friends? Easy. Online revision aids and classes? Just a few clicks away.

And now, with One2Ones launching unique courses on its brand new platform, the reach and impact of online learning is growing like never before. But with great power comes great responsibility – to add another timeless cliché to the list.

One2Ones values online safety above all else: parents need to know that their kids are learning in a secure virtual environment, and kids need to feel safe and comfortable whilst participating in classes.

To that end, we’ve formulated a system and set of rules to keep online learning with One2Ones trustworthy, safe, and enjoyable. Tutors can be sure that they’re offering as much as they can to their pupils, and parents can be sure they can trust us to provide a dependable, hassle-free learning experience for their kids.

How can we be sure of this? Well, before we get into what One2Ones is doing, it’s worth beginning with a few tips and guidelines for parents who want to teach their kids some good online habits.

The world of “online etiquette” and safety can be a confusing place – especially for kids – so we’ve broken it down into a few key ideas:
  • Walk your kids through some of the main online platforms – even do some “trial” runs to get them comfortable!

Practice makes perfect, and although applications like Zoom or Teams are designed to be easy and accessible they can be slightly overwhelming to use for the first time round. According to Youth Access the very young tend to experience this the most, so steps should be taken to ensure that virtual classes don’t seem scary or unfamiliar.

Of course, the tutor is chiefly responsible for keeping their classes friendly and accessible – more on that later – but parents are also in the unique position of being able to gauge how well their kids respond to online learning in general, and use time outside classes to give them a helping hand.

Introducing kids to the benefits of our website and how to use it shouldn’t be a thankless or difficult task for parents: we’ve created it to be as intuitive as can be. So it won’t take too long to get kids comfortable joining and participating in our classes after a brief introduction. If you don’t take our word for it, take a look for yourself!
  • Remind them to treat their online classmates with respect.
We’ve drawn up a helpful poster which summarises good online classroom practice, but it’s always helpful to have parents on side to remind their kids of the dos and don’ts. Classes with our tutors are supposed to be more fun, relaxed, and engaging than their real-life school counterparts, and a lot of effort goes into making sure that there’s never a dull moment for tutors and learners alike.

But for things to run smoothly, there are a few rules worth knowing: we’ve incorporated a “raise hand” function so there’s no need to interrupt or cut across anyone else, it’s always worth turning up to classes on time and prepared, and participants should always be respectful!

Many of these habits have become second nature for kids who have grown used to an online format over lockdown, but a quick recap before each class will guarantee a relaxed, fun experience for all involved.
  • Be mindful of the little things.

We mainly mean two things here: backgrounds and background noise. They don’t sound so little, right? But sometimes it can be easy to forget how our own physical space is affecting the rest of the class.

It’s been pointed out that a noisy environment can be one of the biggest obstacles to a smooth online experience, and that the importance of participating in a class from somewhere peaceful and quiet cannot be overestimated.

Obviously this is easier said than done, but establishing a familiar routine (e.g. avoiding noisy activities during the times when a class is active) can be a huge help. Staying muted until you have something to ask or contribute can also mean that there’s minimal unnecessary disruption to a tutor’s lesson. It’s a win for everyone!

One2Ones allows learners to keep their cameras on or off depending on what they prefer, but it’s always worth a reminder that backgrounds should be appropriate and preferably not too cluttered. As useful as a Martian might seem for one of our science or physics courses, your distracted classmates might think otherwise!

It goes without saying that the above rules apply for tutors as much as tutees – if not more so, because they’ll be setting an example. It’s also worth bearing in mind how we’ve set up our online classrooms to make sure that participants’ safety and online privacy is always respected. Here’s a quick rundown:
  • The link for our classes are provided two hours before they begin, and the IDs are generated randomly to minimise the chance of an intrusion or interference.

  • As participants join their online classes, our algorithm will only recognise and admit the IDs of those “enrolled” in the class, keeping the virtual classroom secure.
  • Our tutors can disable the screen sharing and chat functions in any class which they are hosting; again, this prevents distracting or inappropriate content from disrupting a lesson.
  • Our tutors can disable the screen sharing and chat functions in any class which they are hosting; again, this prevents distracting or inappropriate content from disrupting a lesson.

So there we have it: a crash-course in online safety and etiquette, and an overview of how One2Ones is committed to both. All that remains to be said is to get stuck in, be sure to have fun, and stay safe!


Sources

Virginia. (2021, January 4). iD Tech Camps.https://www.idtech.com/blog/zoom-for-kids-with-safety-and-etiquette-tips

Youth Access Counselling. (2020, May 15).https://www.youthaccess.org.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/post/43-10-tips-for-facilitating-zoom-meetings-with-young-people

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