I checked my security settings on facebook and I am satisfied that I have an acceptable balance of visibility and privacy.  However I have made a change to who can see my fb friends - so that only prople I am already fb friends with can see this.  I reckon there is no need for anyone who is not my"friend" to see this and provides a bit of protection from phishing or nosey parkers who may not be friends at all. Sarah Smith has been indiscreet and possibly naive, by displaying personal views on her facebook page which conflict with her role as a carer and the values and principles she is required to uphold under the SSSC codes of practice - and she also risks bringing the organisation she works for into disrepute.  Britain First is a far right organisation with a track record of posting inoccuous or harmless looking ads to gain followers.  However annoyed she is with her colleagues, managers, or clients, even if justifiably so, she should never post criticism or personal opin

Digital Security

Passwords: I have known for a long time that passwords such as "password" or "123456" are next to useless for protecting your stuff online.  However, I really struggle to think up new passwords every month for apps which require updating this frequently (usually work apps), and I can't cope with more than 2 or 3 passwords on the go at once - they just all become a blur. I did a check of some of my passwords and discovered that some can be decoded within 2 hours.  However, add a couple of cunning symbols or bits of punctuation somewhere in there and it'll take 200 years to crack.  I will bear in mind the suggestion of using the first letters of an easy to remember phrase or piece of poetry for future password changes. I have now discovered the password management app,  and am trying out Dashlane to see if it will help me avoid forgetting which variation of which password I may be using, or at least remember it for me. With regard to permissions, again I

Social Media

The organisation I work for has substantially updated its social media guidance for staff of late, reflecting the increasingly dominant and diverse role social media now plays in communication in everyday life.  There is a definite change of tone, from one which warns of the perils of disclosure and inappropriate activity, to one which recognises social media's many strengths, benefits and enormous relevance to organisations which need to reach, and hear the views, of the people it serves.  Social media guidance now includes guidance on developing a social media profile, and positively encourages the use of twitter, facebook, etc as part of planned communication by projects and teams.  There is reference to the less formal language and occasional use of humour to help communicate accessibility and giving the organisation a "human face". There is also a recognition that many of the people we serve use social media in positive and negative ways, and in order to understa

Why Digital?

Nearly all staff within my organisation now have a smartphone for work purposes, and most also own one for personal use, as well as having a tablet or laptop and wifi at home.  Where I work everyone is expected to use work based IT to some extent, whether it is just to clock in and out and record their mileage, undertake elearning and read emails, or to manage their calendar, record assessments, input details of their client contact, collate supervision records, undertake recruitment and staffing stuff, authorise or apply for leave, record sickness absence and run reports.  Much information is stored on the organisation's staff website, and staff who do not access this regularly risk losing touch with current news and developments relevant to their role. Assessing workers already spend more than half of their time in front of a screen, so it makes sense for people to be able to make the technology work for them, as well as the other way round. In terms of my role in the organis

Open Badges

Open Badges can be collected, stored, and shared online, providing evidence of self-directed learning in a format that is recognised across the world.  Open badges store meta data which provide evidence of the learning undertaken, with links to specific data and work carried out in order to achieve the badge.  It appears that much (or all?) of the material available for earning badges on the web is free, and therefore highly accessible, with 24 hour access from work, home or elsewhere. Open badges enable people to undertake self directed learning of their choice, and also enables employers and organisations to provide learning materials and distribute them widely within and outside their organisations.  The internationally agreed format for sharing and displaying badges provides a powerful motivation for people to invest in continuous learning, with their efforts recorded and stored to use and share for career development purposes.  Moreover open badges potentially have great perso

Learning about Blogging

There is so much information we need to do our jobs effectively.  How then can this be disseminated in a way that makes sense and is of value?  How can it be presented in a way that is accessible and speaks to the people it is aimed at? When I started in this line of work, nobody had a mobile phone, and there was no IT system.  Typing was carried out by an admin pool and woe-betide anyone who typed up their own stuff - the union would have been on it and that would have been that. IT and mobile technology have revolutionised the way we work, but still we are sometime slaves to the machines that should be serving us.  It's time we took control! So today at work, we were talking about performance, and how evidencing performance has to be more than production of stats (and who would disagree with that?).  I started thinking about this blog, and about how digital technology might be harnessed to enable my tier of the organisation, or my team, or one of the integrated groups,  sha

Team Building

The Team has been through a major re-structure over the last 18 months.  This has been an intensely difficult process for all affected, and just over a year since we came into being in our new format, on 5 December 2016, the dust is still settling. As a Team Leader, I feel battered and bruised, and responsible, but also optimistic for the future. My ability to lead through such a complex process has been, is being, tested, and I have not  achieved all the goals set for me or by me during this time.  However, I have played a significant part in gaining some small and not so small victories and steps forward, albeit with some compromises thrown in.  I am proud of the journey we've travelled so far, and very grateful to be working alongside such resilient, resourceful people, who are minded to lead and support each other, and who are so committed to their clients and to doing a great job. We look and feel very different from how we started out.  Some people have left, unhappy with