From education to employment

Weston College students wow by joining forces with the British Computing Society

Students learning hands on cyber security – using Weston College’s simulated interactive ‘Password Cracker’ game developed in house.

This week the College collaborated with the British Computing Society (BCS), by hosting an inspiring Safer Internet Day event at the Loxton Campus, bringing together learners, staff, technologists, policymakers, and digital experts to explore responsible digital navigation and harness the full potential of online spaces for learning and growth.

The event, which was held on the national Safer Internet Day, Tuesday, 6th February, at the College’s celebrated Loxton Campus, treated students to a series of compelling talks by renowned experts in the field. The guest speakers shared their expertise in a highly creative space showcasing work from A level Fashion and Art students, to inspire creative thinking on topics such as online trust, safety, cybersecurity, education, and public benefit – encouraging students to think critically about their online presence. Take a look at the film captured on the day:

The guest speakers included:

Professor Victoria Baines FBCS, Online Trust, Safety, and Cybersecurity Expert Prof. Victoria Baines Julia Adamson MBE, Managing Director Education and Public Benefit at BCS Julia Adamson MBE; Clare Moody, Co-Chief Executive, Equally Ours Clare Moody; Daniel Aldridge, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BCS Dan Aldridge Daniel Aldridge.

Following the captivating talks, learners were actively involved in a task that encouraged them to identify real-world problems that individuals encounter in digital spaces. This engaging exercise aimed to empower them to think proactively about online challenges and find innovative solutions. The students enthusiastically collaborated, sharing ideas and experiences while actively participating in the discussion.

The feedback session that followed showcased student creativity and problem-solving skills, as they presented their identified issues and proposed practical solutions. The interactive nature of the task not only made the learning experience enjoyable but also provided a platform for students to express their thoughts and insights on safer internet practices. In doing so, the panel is now able to take the voices of our students directly to the heart of Westminster, providing further insight into the big tech companies at the same time.     

Daniel Aldridge, a former Weston College A Level student and current Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BCS who made such a fantastic day possible said:

“Safer Internet Day is a day across the UK to champion people and organisations that are making the internet safer.”

“Every year we come together to talk about how we can make the internet safer so everyone can thrive not just survive online. This year we chose to host our national focus event at Weston College”.

After the student interaction opportunity, an engaging community networking session followed, where our staff, together with the panel, had the chance to connect with industry professionals and local businesses to explore what a digital future might look like for Weston-super-Mare, and the West of England as a whole, in terms of ‘Place.’

“I don’t think that the general public, civil societies, and politicians have quite grasped the need for a change in digital skills and IT literacy. It’s about having the base level of digital skills – because without it we are not going to be able to survive in our digital environment.”

“That’s why Further Education Colleges like Weston College play a fundamental role in cascading knowledge and expertise across our communities.”

Professor Victoria Baines FBCS explained to us the vital role that young people play in modern technology.

“Who are the people that know most that technology has changed? It’s the young members of society particularly learners that are engaging with digital media.

“They’re the people we need. They are the people that can tell us what we need to be worried about, how we can protect them and their communities”. She added.

Jacqui Ford Interim Principal at the College added “Our students have really enjoyed the chance to get their voices heard with such an influential panel, delivering the event’s theme of ‘local action, inspiring global change’. A huge thank you goes to BCS and Dan, and all the incredible guests who gave us such a fantastic, insightful Safer Internet Day!”

Related Articles