Software to help teachers spot extremism among pupils

The BBC is reporting that schools are being offered new software that helps teachers spy on pupils’ potentially extremist online activity…

It alerts teachers if pupils use specific terrorism-related terms or phrases or visit extremist websites on school computers, laptops or tablets.

Teachers are encouraged to look for a pattern of behaviour rather than raise the alarm after a single warning…

Jonathan Russell, political liaison officer at Quilliam Foundation, which developed the software, said: 

“…Protecting young people from the dangers of radicalisation requires positive online counter-extremism, and empowering teachers with technology like Impero’s keyword library is an important part of this process.”

Sally-Ann Griffiths, of Impero Software, which designed the program, said: “With a widely reported increase in the number of children being radicalised, it’s vital that schools put measures in place to prevent pupils coming to harm online.

“By defining terms such as ‘yodo’, a phrase used by jihadist sympathisers meaning ‘you only die once’, the glossary gives teachers, who are part of the solution to the problem, the tools they need to identify, intervene and safeguard at-risk pupils…”

More at: Software to spot extremism among pupils


Not too much detail about how this will work, but what do you think of the concept of software that searches for the use of language used by jihadists? 

Would it be empowering – as suggested – in terms of fulfilling a school’s obligations to help prevent radicalisation, at least while in school or using a school’s equipment?

Presumably its real impact will be limited by the fact it won’t cover anything students do on their own devices over which it will have no impact?

So, good idea or not? Please let us know…


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  1. Trevor Millar

    I was talking with someone just last week who mentioned a piece of software which carries out a psychometric test to identify pupils who would be at risk of being radicalised.

  2. edujdw

    SchoolsImprove yes, because they won’t have access to the internet other than on school equipment? Not an effective idea at all.

  3. sarahhoss

    edujdw SchoolsImprove Not sure there’s evidence this strategy works? Case studies? My view: ask the children. Start a meaningful dialogue.

  4. sarahhoss

    edujdw SchoolsImprove we have a system for developing trust by engagement rather than control – teach critical thinking thro experience…

  5. sarahhoss

    edujdw SchoolsImprove and…develop a sense of citizenship/empowerment to nurture our young people – and they will make sensible choices.

Let us know what you think...