The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs) require that as a graduate you are able to:
4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
When planning ICT-rich lessons, the use of ICT needs to be safe, responsible, and ethical. Demonstrating an understanding of the relevant issues around using ICT safely, responsibly and ethically requires consideration of issues such as bullying, cyber-bullying, spamming, phishing, identity theft etc. These issues are something we all need to consider in our daily lives, but are particularly important for students who are growing up in a technology rich environment.
The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner defines a digital citizen as someone “with the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital technologies to participate in society, communicate with others and create and consume digital content”.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, through a grant from Google, have developed an eSmart Digital License, which is available free to every Year 6 student in Australia. The program is an online challenge which uses quizzes, videos and games to teach Year six students how to play, learn and socialize online in a smart, safe and responsible way. As a parent, I think this is a fantastic initiative, though I would love to see this program or similar used at an even younger age (maybe Year 4?).
CyberSafety is an area that I thought I didn’t have much knowledge in, but after completing a couple of online quizzes about bullying and cybersafety I was surprised with my results. Maybe I have developed some knowledge in this area as I interact with ICTs in my daily life. In a course content quiz about bullying, I correctly answered four out of four questions. The quiz was adapted from information on the Safe Schools Hub, a site I plan to explore more.
In the second quiz, the Cyber Smart Kids Quiz, I scored 25 out of 25. Although I answered all the questions correctly, I was really interested to know how well my children would be able to answer the questions. All of my children completed the quiz, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did. Competing this exercise was a great way to find out what they actually knew and open up communication about different cybersafety issues, particularly which websites are safe to join and why. Similar to one of my fellow students, they all thought the cat site looked safe. They all argued that the site said it was safe and that you play with your friends. This was a great way to have some interesting conversations with them about cybersafety.
I plan to increase my knowledge further about cybersafety and how it is being addressed in schools.