The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Cybersafety and Wellbeing Initiative aims to make cybersafety a normal part of every young person’s life by equipping them to use technologies in ways that protect them from the associated risks.
The development of the initiative is informed by a number of cybersafety experts from across Australia. The first major focus of the initiative is to help schools to create a cultural norm of smart, safe and responsible use of communications technologies. The initiative will:
- help schools develop policies and practices encouraging students to use technology responsibly
- point schools to teaching resources on cybersafety, but also to resources to help them create a safe, respectful and caring environment
- encourage schools to embrace the positives of technology for teaching practice and enhance young people’s learning
- establish a system for schools to provide evidence that they are actively implementing these policies and practices
- reduce the digital divide between adults and young people, so adults can become a credible source of advice on avoiding the risks of cyberspace.
Dr Judith Slocombe CEO of The Alannah and Madeline makes an interesting point:
It is important to remember that this is an issue of behaviour, more than it is of technology. We really need to get serious about behaviour and support schools to focus on building a culture of respect and caring in addition to teaching the traditional academic subjects.
As a profession that is passionate about embedding the use of technology in education, we should applaud the introduction of this initiative. It is wonderful to see that the negative issues of internet use are going to be addressed and acted upon.