New eSafety tools prepare primary aged children for life online - Education Matters Magazine
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New eSafety tools prepare primary aged children for life online

New eSafety tools prepare primary aged children for life online

The eSafety Commissioner has created a package of resources for educators, parents and carers to help children develop their online safety skills in the early to middle primary school years.

Available now for download at eSafety.gov.au, the materials include classroom activities, teacher professional learning modules and activities to do at home with children aged 5 to 8, complementing and building on eSafety’s Early Years program for younger children.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the package provided age-appropriate, curriculum- aligned resources to help prepare children for the increasing risk of exposure to online harms.

“Our research shows 81 percent of parents with children aged 2 to 5 report their child are using the internet, so we have to start educating them at an early age,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Teachers, as well as parents and carers, can play a pivotal role in helping children develop digital skills to have positive, safe experiences online and develop good habits when using technology.”

The launch follows confirmation in the Federal Budget eSafety will receive a boost to its base funding, delivering an additional $132.1 million of four years.

“The funding certainty provided by this Budget reflects the long-term need for eSafety’s work and will help us plan ahead to continue promoting safer, more positive experiences for all Australians,” Ms Inman Grant said.

The classroom resources available from today feature four fun bush characters, the Mighty Heroes, each with an online safety message for children:

  • Wanda the echidna: I am responsible – I protect my personal information
  • River the sugar glider: I show respect – I am kind and caring to others
  • Dusty the frilled neck lizard: I trust my feelings – I ask for help when something doesn’t feel right
  • Billie the bilby: I investigate – I question what I see, hear and do online

Developed with teachers, the package is aligned to the Best Practice Framework for Online Safety Education and the Australian Curriculum.

Free, self-paced, online professional learning modules for teachers include evidence-based advice and practical strategies for teaching online safety in the classroom.

Developed with Early Childhood Australia, the modules are aligned to AITSL teaching standards and the Australian Curriculum.

Teachers will receive a certificate to download on completion for Teacher Identified or Elective teacher professional learning hours.

“Complaints to eSafety continue to increase substantially across all our reporting schemes, including those involving school-age children,” Ms Inman Grant concluded.

“Complaints about cyberbullying, for example, increased by almost 70 percent last year alone, and our research shows almost two-thirds of young people have been exposed to harmful content of some kind by age 17.”

All eSafety’s educator classroom materials are available free at: Esafety – Lower Primary Resources

Resources are also available to help parents and carers have conversations with their children about online safety at:Esafety – Mighty Heroes

Further professional learning modules for lower primary teachers, can also be found here. 

For more information, visit: eSafety.gov.au

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