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Being Safe Online


students on devices

Students need to be empowered with the knowledge, skills and confidence to learn with digital tools at school, at home, at work and in their communities. ICT transforms how students think and offers them greater flexibility over how, where and when they learn.

The Directorate has brought together a range of resources to support schools in delivering an enriching digital program aimed to educate our students about online safety. Resources have been collated from our partnerships with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, AFP and Google Education, as well as from a range of other eSafety providers, offering schools with a variety of age-appropriate resources to draw on within the wider curriculum.

Resources for Students

ACT government school students learn about eSafety and develop their skills as mature digital citizens.

Students need to practice their communication and information gathering skills within a secure environment – while still accessing information required for learning in today's world. So, whether it's working or communicating online, children should feel safe and comfortable.

Below are age-appropriate resources to assist children and young people.

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Kindergarten to Year 2 students

‘ICT tools help me to learn, create and to communicate. I know which tools are safe for me to use’.

Resources that help me to know what is safe:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Program:

  • Hector's World - A 2D animation series teaching eSafety targeted at 5-7 year olds

Year 3 to Year 6 students

‘I’m learning how to use technology independently to learn, create and communicate. I am aware of the risks in communicating online and know where to go if I need help.’

Resources that help me know how to communicate safely and who to talk to:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

  • Act eSafe - An engaging   animation for 8-11 year olds
  • The Lost Summer - A role playing video game for building digital intelligence and online safety (11-14 YO)

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Be Internet Awesome

Google Digital Citizenship Program

  • Interland - immersive learning environment (Yr3-6)

High school students

I’m an independent digital learner and I have been provided ICT tools to help me in my learning. I’m old enough to join social media and I’m learning to build positive relationships online.

Resources to help me to talk, play and network online:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

  • The Lost Summer - A role playing video game for building digital intelligence and online safety (11-14 YO)
  • #Game On- A cybersafety video and activities following experiences of lower secondary students (cyberbullying, excessive gaming, passwords, downloads and online friends)
  • YeS Project - A new digital and social health program (Years 9-10)
  • Be Deadly Online - An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective on eSafety

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

College students

I’m a confident digital learner who uses technology extensively throughout my learning. I manage my own technology use but need to be reminded about the risks and consequences of using technology inappropriately. I understand that I am learning to be an adult and my digital footprint can affect my future.   

Resources to help me to talk, play and network safely online:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

  • #Game On- A cybersafety   video and activities following experiences of lower secondary students   (cyberbullying, excessive gaming, passwords, downloads and online friends)
  • Tagged - An online film and activities dealing   with cyberbullying, sexting and filmed fights
  • Be Deadly Online - An indigenous perspective on eSafety

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

Resources for Teaching Staff

Teachers, along with families, play an important role in preparing students by bringing a greater understanding and awareness of safe online behaviours. Teachers and school staff are supported with Professional Learning to develop their understanding of currenct of eSafety messaging and compliance.

Teachers can participate in Professional Learning Webinars offered by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner (booked through the Professional Learning Calendar) as well as accessing a free Digital Citizenship and Safety Online Course through Google Teacher Centre.

Kindergarten to Year 2 students

eSafety in the early years focuses on ICT as tools for learning. These tools help students to learn and to create but need to be used in a safe and supervised environment.

Teaching resources:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Year 3 to Year 6 students

Students are building independence in their selection and use of ICT for learning, drawing from a range of known and trusted tools. Students need clear instruction and modelling of how to communicate safely and appropriately online, as well as where to go if they feel unsafe or need help.

Teaching resources:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Be Internet Awesome

Google Digital Citizenship Program

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

High school students

Students are learning to become independent learners and have been provided with a device to help them manage and empower their learning. Students need clear instruction about responsible use of technology in the classroom, as well as training for using devices safely at home. Acceptable use boundaries need to be made clear as well as the associated consequences for the misuse of technology at school.

Teaching resources:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

College students

Students are responsible for their own learning and for the management of their use of technology more broadly. Social media will play an active role in their lives and will often form their primary mode of communication with peers. Students need regular reminders of the risks involved with engagement online and the digital footprint they are creating.

Teaching resources:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

Resources for Families

There are many things you can do, alongside your child’s school, to support them as they learn to use technology.

Schools focus on supporting students as they learn to use technology for learning and for life. This focus supports the critical role of parents and carers play in establishing safe and supportive behaviours.

Below are age-specific resources to help you support your child.

Kindergarten to Year 2 students

Your child lives in a digital world. As they begin school, it is important to teach them that technology is a tool that will help them learn, create and communicate. As with other tools, it is very important that your child understands how to use these safely and the importance of having adult supervision. Modelling safe and responsible use is essential.

Resources to support eSafety at home:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

  • Parent Portal - Tools & guides for supporting cyber safety at home

Year 3 to Year 6 students

Your child is learning how to be an independent learner and how to best use technology to support and empower their learning. During the upper primary years, your child will develop the knowledge and skills about how to communicate safely online using trusted tools. At school, your child will learn about some of the dangers in communicating online and be offered a range of strategies to report and get help if things go wrong.

Resources to support eSafety at home:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

  • Parent Portal - Tools and guides for supporting cyber safety at home

Be Internet Awesome

Google Digital Citizenship Program

High school students

Your child is learning how to manage their learning in a high school environment. They have been provided access to a device to support them in this learning environment. Your child is now old enough to participate legally on social media (13+) and this has implications for their friendship groups and broader networks. At School your child will receive training about the risks and responsibilities for communicating online, including specifics about social networking and gaming. Parents/carers are encouraged to take an active role in speaking with your child about their online engagement and establishing boundaries for the use of devices, especially overnight.

Resources to support eSafety at home:

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

  • Parent Portal - Tools and guides for supporting cyber safety at home

Be Internet Awesome

Google Digital Citizenship Program

College students

Your child is learning to be an adult. They are responsible for their own learning and in many cases, they manage their own use of technology. Social media has, for many, become integral to their relationship with friends and is used as a primary mode of communication in these relationships. Your child is continually building their digital footprint. At school they are taught about the risks and consequences for what is posted by them/ about them online, as well as the role of technology in establishing positive relationships.

Office of eSafety Commissioner

Programs:

Bullying No Way!

Safe and Supportive School Communities

Think U Know

Australian Federal Police

  • Parent Portal - Tools and guides for supporting cyber safety at home

Online Safety Tips:

  • Spend time online with your children and use technology together
  • Establish boundaries about the use of technology at home, especially including the active supervision from trusted adults
  • Model safe and appropriate device use
  • Consider Family Online Safety Contract – refer AFP ThinkUKnow
  • Consider Parental Controls:
    • Know the device your children are using
    • Know how your children are using the device
    • Know what parental control options are available
Cyberbullying

Information from the Bullying No Way! Website:

Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.

Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

Online bullying can include:

  • sending insulting or threatening messages
  • posting unkind messages or inappropriate images on social networking sites
  • excluding others from online chats or other communication
  • inappropriate image tagging
  • sharing someone's personal or embarrassing information online
  • creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites
  • sharing unflattering or private images, including naked or sexual images
  • assuming the identity of the another person online and representing them in a negative manner or manner that may damage their relationship with others
  • repeatedly, and for no strategic reason, attacking players in online gaming.

For it to be called bullying, inappropriate actions online must be between people who have ongoing contact and be part of a pattern of repeated behaviours (online or offline). One action – such as an insulting comment or an embarrassing photo – which is repeated through sharing and forwarding to others, can be called bullying if the individuals involved know each other, and have ongoing contact either on or offline.

Cyberbullying: Tips for Parents and Carers

Some Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner tips:

  • Talk to your child about cyberbullying before it happens. Work out strategies to address cyberbullying that you are both comfortable with, so your child knows what to expect if they do report concerns to you or another trusted adult.
  • Help your child to develop the skills they need to interact safely and respectfully online. Guide their online activities and help them learn to communicate appropriately with friends and family.
  • Encourage children to treat others on the net the same way they would in real life.
  • Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages and to report any negative messages they receive to you or another trusted adult.
  • Reassure your child that you won't block their access to the internet if they report concerns about cyberbullying. Help them to stay connected online and offline to supportive family and friends.
  • Help your child to block anyone who sends offensive content. Most social networking services allow users to block and report someone who is behaving badly,

The Bullying, No Way! (http://bullyingnoway.gov.au) website and the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner https://esafety.gov.au/about-the-office provide practical information and advice for parents and children.

If you feel that your child may be involved in the bullying of others, there are also resources aimed to help are at https://esafety.gov.au/education-resources which can help you address the issue and support your child's further understanding of safe online behaviours.

Cyberbullying: Seeking Help

If your child has been involved in cyberbullying and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood, we advise you to contact your child's school and speak to the teacher or year coordinator/ welfare support.

It may also be advised to seek professional support, including through the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner I need help with cyberbulllying page. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying. https://esafety.gov.au/complaints-and-reporting/cyberbullying-complaints/i-want-to-report-cyberbullying

Cyberbullying: The School’s Role

The ACT Education Directorate’s Safe and Supportive Schools policy provides guidance to schools on promoting safe, respectful and supportive school environments. Schools are required to have processes and procedures in place to address and prevent bullying, harassment and violence, including cyberbullying. School’s preventative focus includes social and emotional learning approaches and digital citizenship programs that support the development of resilience, critical thinking and social skills.

Just as bullying, harassment or abuse would not be tolerated in the classroom or on the playground; they are similarly not tolerated within online environments. Schools are advised to deal with online breaches of the school’s behaviour policies as they would, had they occurred in the physical environment.

Cyberbullying: I’m still concerned…

If you are still concerned after speaking to the teacher or year coordinator/ welfare support, contact can be made with the school principal to discuss concerns.

If the school’s response is considered unsatisfactory, or external advice is considered necessary about the interventions put in place by the school, parents/ carers can contact the Directorate’s Families and Students, Complaints and Feedback Unit online via the ACT Education Directorate contact form or by phone (02) 6205 5429 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

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