Health & wellbeing for students, teachers, principals - Education Matters
  •      

Spotlight on Cybersafety

eSmart Accreditation (Alannah & Madeline Foundation)

eSmart helps schools effectively manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying. The national roll out of eSmart to all Australian schools is under way, following the successful pilot in 2010.

The Telstra Foundation funding supported The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to work with RMIT University’s School of Education Consultancy and Development Unit to develop a framework schools could use to implement strategies for improving cyber-safety and wellbeing.Schools progressing through the framework would be ‘accredited’ for the cyber-safety practice.

Telstra Foundation funding assisted with the pre-development research, the work to write the framework, build the supporting eSmart website and run the intensive trial with 28 schools to test both the framework and the website. Late into the project, the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) saw the potential of eSmart and decided to invest $3 million to pilot eSmart in 150 schools around the country. In 2010, the the Victorian Government committed $10.6 million to roll out the program across more than 1,800 Victorian schools and 2011 the Queensland Government announced implementation of eSmart across Queensland schools.

Website: www.esmartschools.org.au and www.amf.org.au/eSmart

 http://www.amf.org.au/Assets/Files/eSmart_ SchoolsDL_web.pdf

Superclubsplus (Intuitive Media)

SuperClubsPLUS Australia is a fully moderated social learning network that teaches six to twelve year old children how to be safe online. While the website is both fun and educational, it also teaches children how to keep themselves safe online, with 95 per cent of kids on SuperClubsPLUS learning and practising ‘safe online’ behaviours no matter where they go on the internet. Students can upload media, publish articles, build personalised web pages, run their own clubs, complete projects, join discussion forums, chat with friends, and participate in ‘Hot Seats’.

In 2010 SuperClubsPLUS is partnered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) so that all ‘superclubbers’ achieve their advanced ‘Super Cyber Smart Badge’ and Certificate, and become fully accredited by ACMA.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $1,044,462 over two years to September 2010, with a further $498,052 to December 2011.

Website:  http://www.scplus.com

Project evaluation (2010): http:// www.scplus.com/d/sites/default/files/superclubsplus_eval-fullreport_v25_final.pdf

Developing Ethical Digital Citizens (Centacare Loddon Mallee Cyber Safety Project)

The Developing Ethical Digital Citizens project conducted by the Centacare Sandhurst Loddon Mallee Cyber Safety Project surveyed students, teachers and parents to examine factors relating to cyber-safety. The data now assists schools and community groups to inform policies and practices.

The project recently conducted focus groups with senior students to explore the issue of internet pornography on adolescent relationships, and from their responses created the film “Impression that you get”. Student feedback has indicated that the film captures the culture that exists.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $270,000 over three years to December 2011.

Project overview and online version of final reports: www.cybersafekids.com. au/2011/05/welcome-to-the-loddon-malleecybersafety- project/

Cyber Friendly Parent’ Project (Edith Cowan University)

Part of a world-first study into cyber-bullying, the Cyber Friendly Parents’ Project highlights the need for a whole of community response to increasing cyber-safety and reducing cyber-bullying among young people.

Exhaustive research undertaken by the Edith Cowan University’s project team determined the most effective ways to engage parents to increase their own knowledge of cyber-safety and assist their child to prevent and respond to cyber-bullying. Research included a review of current cyber-bullying literature and resources, parent surveys and focus groups, and consultations with students, including two Cyber Friendly Student Summits. The resulting resource materials are underpinned by the research findings that a collaborative and coordinated response that is consistent between students, parents and school staff is key to success.

Parents involved in the project had access to a range of resources including a purpose-built website, www.cyberfriendly.com.au, to help them understand and engage with cyber-bullying issues. Materials included family newsletters explaining digital reputations, cyber-bullying, cyber-safety and the law, and the use of friends lists on social networking sites. A Family Quiz Activities booklet was also developed and used in conjunction with the website, which houses the latest research findings and articles regarding cyber-bullying and cyber-safety.

Parents also took part in student-led workshops that looked at forms of cyber-bullying, statistics and definitions for bullying and cyber-bullying, parent responses to cyber-bullying, preventative strategies, and how to communicate with young people about cyber-safety. The final step in the project has been to empirically test the suite of parent resources to assess their relevance and usefulness as a practical tool to assist in a whole of school approach to cyber-bullying prevention. The findings will help drive the broader Cyber Friendly Schools Project, which is currently underway.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $341,000 over three years to December 2011.

Website: www.cyberfriendly.com.au

Cyber Friendly Schools Project (PEET) evaluation report: http://chpru.ecu.edu.au/ assets/documents/Cyber-Friendly-Schools- Project-(PEET)-Final-Report-May-2010.pdf

Smart Online Safe Offline – SOSO (Napcan)

The Smart Online Safe Offline (SOSO) program’s website and resources are successfully educating children aged nine to 14 about the dangers of disclosing too much personal information on social networking websites and how to counteract online ‘grooming’. The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect’s program also provides cyber- safety education and support to parents, teachers and the community.

SOSO is a unique social initiative that brings together community, government and the digital media industry as partners to deliver online campaigns.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $534,000 over three years to December 2011.

Website: www.soso.org.au

Technology Roundtable (Inspire Foundation)

Co-chaired by the Telstra Foundation and the Inspire Foundation, the Technology and Wellbeing Roundtable brings together over a dozen key influencers in academic, corporate, non-profit and government sectors across Australia.

Established in 2008, the roundtable presents a unique forum to discuss, investigate and promote evidence-based and best practice approaches to young people’s engagement with technology. Participants also advocate for increased access for young people to the resources, social supports and learning opportunities delivered through technology.

A recent survey revealed that participation in the roundtable has opened up and strengthened sector networks. In all, eight of the 15 core members reported that their participation had led to partnerships with fellow member organisations.

Greater access to current research and best practice approaches to delivering programs has also been experienced. Additionally, through Roundtable meetings and informal networking opportunities, the roundtable has opened new communication channels between sectors, for example the Australian Research Council funded Project Young People, Technology, and Wellbeing Research Facility led by the University of Western Sydney and the recently established Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing.

Telstra Foundation commitment: $145,000 over one year to December 2010.

Website: www.inspire.org.au

Benetwise (Berry Street)

Berry Street’s BeNetWise program supports a proactive approach by welfare agencies in addressing the digital divide experienced by the children and young people in the out-of-home care and alternative education sectors who have a lack of access to digital technology.

Extensive consultation and research around digital technology and cyber-safety has given Berry Street a significant knowledge base to share with staff, carers and educators, as well as young people themselves.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $206,750 over one year to December 2011.

Website:  www.berrystreet.org.au/BeNetWise

Websmarts Project (Student Youth Network)

SYN’s websmarts project has explored how increased digital literacy and media education can assist young people in navigating the online world. Findings highlighted the need for young people to be actively engaged in new media channels and to be allowed to facilitate a flexible discussion around issues that young people can identify with. As part of the project, SYN also produced a series of online resources focusing on social networking; online legal issues, online communities and internet crime that were broadcast on radio and television and made available online.

Telstra Foundation’s commitment: $80,000 over two years to December 2010.
Website:  http://syn.org.au/program/websmarts

Sustaining Cybersafety in Schools

One of the most challenging aspects of implementing and sustaining any whole-school program is changes in staff personnel and responsibilities, especially at the start of a new school year. The anti-bullying coordinator who is now a head of department and struggling to find the time; the eLearning leader who is now part time; or perhaps, the deputy principal who was amongst other things: head of curriculum, coach of the first XI cricket team and an enthusiastic and active advocate for the new visual arts program…is now employed as a principal at another school.

Cybersafety and digital citizenship programs are no different – they require a whole-school approach that needs to be regularly re-assessed and updated, as well as have the ongoing support from staff, students and parents.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart Schools Framework (the Framework) guides schools through the key actions for creating and sustaining a positive school culture, that works to reduce bullying and cyberbullying, and promote the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies.

The Framework is made up of six domains, none more important than Domain 1: Effective school organisation.

Term one is a good time to ensure a school’s cybersafety program still has an effective organisational structure, and that the program is functioning properly with the buy-in from key staff and community members responsible for its success.

While this domain can be a starting place for the journey to establishing a cyber-safe school, setting up committees, defining roles and responsibilities, it is just as important to regularly re-visit this starting place, no matter how advanced a school’s cybersafety initiatives. Situations change, and the dynamism and forward-thinking that once existed in the program may have faded, or the governance may have become dysfunctional.

From the Planning stage right through to the Sustaining stage, the eSmart Schools Framework prompts staff to regularly review their wellbeing and cybersafety programs.

A comprehensive suite of guiding questions, resources, practical tools and advice assists the eSmart Committee through each stage of the eSmart journey. Recognising the eSmart Committee as the key driving force, the Framework assists the committee to reflect on its practices and methods, and provides evidence-based resources for doing so.

In its very design, the Framework acknowledges that sustaining the success of a whole-school program is not a simple matter, and that a roadmap and support is of great benefit to school leadership teams.

This roadmap and comprehensive support within the Framework carries through all six domains, from Effective school organisation (Domain 1) and School plans, policies and procedures (Domain 2), to Partnerships with parents and the local community (Domain 6).

All whole-school programs require ongoing review and maintenance, regardless of how well planned or implemented they originally were. A key factor in the ongoing success of a whole-school cybersafety program, like eSmart Schools, is its organisational structure. Who is actually driving the initiatives? How are they being carried out? Does the rest of the school community feel connected to the aims of the program and prioritise and support them?

The start of the new school year brings with it changes in staff and their responsibilities, new students and parents, and a vision for the year ahead. Including cybersafety and digital citizenship as part of this ongoing vision will ensure a school community prioritises wellbeing and the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies.

Further information:

Developed for Australian schools, eSmart Schools is a behaviour-change system to help schools to improve cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying.

Registering your school can provide you and your school community with assurance that you are accessing evidence-informed practice, policies, resources and activities.

Visit the eSmart Schools website for further information and to register your school www.esmartschools.org.au

Sample image

Child Protection

Sample image

This is the High School category.