From education to employment

College students learn about their digital footprint

(Left to right) Azhar Iqbal, Director of IT; David Akeroyd, Deputy Principal Development and Productivity; George Weller, Sport student and winner of Safer Internet Week Roadshow competition; Kasey Clifton, IT Support Apprentice; and Martin Thornton, IT Support Specialist.

Barnsley College students had the opportunity to find out more about their online presence as part of College-wide initiative, Safer Internet Week.

Safer Internet Week was created to encompass national event, Safer Internet Day, with a roadshow taking place over six of the College’s campuses. Engaging with approximately 200 students, the roadshow, run by the College’s IT team, shared information with each student on how to better protect themselves online, how to spot inappropriate behaviour and how to report content. It also instilled awareness of their digital footprint and shared helpful tips on how to behave online, paying particular attention to their social media profiles and the impact these can have on their life after College, including employment opportunities.

Martin Thornton, IT Support Specialist working at the College for 8 years, was instrumental in the creation and delivery of the roadshow. He said:

“We decided to run the roadshow over multiple College campuses to ensure we could spread our messages to as many students as possible. We discussed with students the purpose of Safer Internet Day as well the general services College’s IT department offer. Our prize draw to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite was a real hit with the students too as well as the free study-essentials that we offered such as notepads, books, pens and memory sticks which encouraged some fantastic interaction.

“Amongst our promotional materials, we directed students to the National Safer Internet Day website to take part and engage with their official surveys and resources.”

Kasey Clifton, IT Support Apprentice, supported with the delivery of the roadshow and added:

“The event was a real success. It was great to get out into the College community and discuss with students their online reputation, how to protect it and how to protect themselves when they are using the internet. Many students were surprised to hear just how long social media posts are accessible for as well as how easy it is to retrieve data that the user has deleted, so it was important for us to offer guidance on how to better utilise these sites.”

John Smith, IT Operations Manager at Barnsley College, said:

“I am immensely proud of Martin and Kasey for their highly-skilled, independent working as well as their initiative to facilitate such a successful and worthwhile event. Here at Barnsley College we put the students at the heart of everything we do and to know that we have instilled some vital behaviours into them with regards to how they use social media which will benefit their opportunities after they leave College is very rewarding.”

Barnsley College’s IT services offer support to over 10,000 users across 18 campuses, using over 5,000 devices. They connect students and staff across all campuses using wired and non-wired connections, monitor and maintain web security to help students and staff to be safe on the internet and purchase, install and maintain a range of software used in the industry including Adobe Creative Cloud, Officer 365 and more. The IT Service department also continually invests in cutting edge equipment and software.

If you’re interested in transforming lives and working for Barnsley College, view our vacancies at

Related Articles