Language evolves constantly. Just as fashions and technologies change, so do the words to describe them: for example, has anyone listened to the wireless lately? Or worn any deely boppers? Nobody uses those terms nowadays; their moments have been and gone. Equally, the terms used in the general English language have changed significantly over time. Just to illustrate: let’s say someone from two centuries ago travelled through time, stopped you on the street and talked to you about a cockalorum or a hum durgeon – it’s reasonable to assume you’d definitely be jargogled*.[[READ_MORE]]

It’s the same for the language of students in school. One minute they’re trying to get out of hockey by claiming they’re sick – and the next minute they’re at a sick party. Schools tell us that language even varies between different year groups and is constantly changing due to influences from social media, popular culture, TV and so on; so what is referred to in one way by a Year 7 group is a totally different term when discussed by Year 11s.

So if we’re trying to protect students from online risks as they use school technology, we’re going to have to be pretty smart with our keyword databases to keep on top of the latest trending terms.

Sharing is good
There are two parts to the keyword database in NetSupport DNA: the one that comes supplied with the solution; and the one unique to each school that is generated/updated by the teaching and safeguarding staff. Once new terms have been added, the resulting word cloud shows all of the most frequently used ones that are being monitored in the keyword database.

For our part, we are constantly researching terms across the spectrum of safeguarding topics, (as well as liaising with local schools, safeguarding leads, student groups, community leaders – and with professional bodies such as the Internet Watch Foundation on specialist terms) – and adding these to the in-built database every month. Schools gain the benefit of these additions every time there is a product update for NetSupport DNA.

But it’s really worth investing the time to enter keywords being used in your school into the database. After all, the results it produces is only as good as the data it has within it. And to get the most benefit from DNA’s Keyword and Phrase Monitoring feature, schools can – and probably should – swap their own keyword lists with other schools; thereby allowing each one to monitor students’ input more effectively.

It’s easy to export your keyword list:

1.    Go to the eSafety icon in the ribbon and select the Phrases icon.
2.    Click the Export icon in the ribbon and the Import/Export Phrases dialog will appear.
3.    A list of your user-defined phrases for exporting will be displayed.
4.    Ensure the phrases that you want to export are ticked, and then click OK.
5.    Enter a name and location for the .CSV file.
6.    Click Save – and you’re done!

Importing is just as quick and is done once again via the eSafety icon in the ribbon and then selecting the Phrases icon.


* Key
Cockalorum: a boastful and self-important person (English word dating from 1715 – Merriam-Webster)
Hum durgeon: an imaginary illness (Definition taken from The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose)
To jargogle: to confuse or jumble (English word dating from 1692 – Matador Network)