Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety

Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety

Over the past few months, the School has had a renewed focus on Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety.

Teachers in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools plus Oakleigh Grammar parents, have taken part in workshops led by Irene Anderson from the ISV (Independent Schools Victoria) and Dean Damatopoulos our eLearning Coordinator. Here the aim has been for all of us to develop the skills to support our children to become good digital citizens and be cyber safety conscious.

Currently, our children have access to an enormous amount of information via the internet. In the words of Mitchell Kapor, a pioneer of the personal computing industry, “getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant”. Access to information has never been easier e.g. blogs, social network sites, You Tube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. but sifting through it has never been harder.

Digital technology is radically changing the way education is delivered and the way students learn both in and outside the classroom. Our children are embracing these new ways of learning e.g. global classroom, flipped classroom, on-line learning, mobile learning, blended learning, eBooks, iBooks, etc.

The Digital environment has created some new issues of ethics in regards to ownership, copyright and plagiarism. It is important for schools to manage online ethics without restricting the creativity and information flow of the shared learning environment.

We want our students to become good digital citizens who appreciate the need to self-monitor their habits in order to sustain and improve the digital communities which they enjoy and depend on. Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and supportive environment for all their students where the risk of cyber harm is minimised. At Oakleigh Grammar Cyber Safety is addressed as part of a planned whole school approach where policies and procedures have been put in place to help ensure a child safe environment.

Our parent community engaged in a successful workshop on Monday 31 July that provided them with various practical strategies to monitor their children in the Cyber World. The session also allowed parents to share information and concerns regarding the Digital World, which assists us as a school to tailor further sessions to suit the needs of parents and their children.

A common thread in the discussion was ‘how to limit device use at home.’ We explored several resources particularly the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and faithandsafety.org. Although the Digital World can be overwhelming, it is important to work together as a community to address these important issues. We are here to support each other to ensure that our children have a positive experience and leave a positive footprint in the Digital World. We look forward to hosting more workshops in the near future.

PETER CUMMINS and DEAN DAMATOPOULOS
Deputy Principal            Head of Years 6 & 7, eLearning Coordinator

Oakleigh Grammar