These days so much of our life and business is conducted online and our children are no different. There are various programs that we provide subscriptions to for your child depending on their grade, such as Reading Eggs, Mathletics and Typing Club, just to name a few. Your children are generally very familiar with using the internet for research and a variety of programs for their own entertainment.
It could be argued that our younger children in Junior School are as tech-savvy now as perhaps a teenager was a few years ago. But what are we doing about their safety whilst online? We all see the benefits of being online but we also know that the world wide web is a big place with many dangers for users—especially for children. To help improve the way our school manages cyber safety, we are very proud to announce that over the last 18 months our College, led by our Head of e-Learning Mr Mark Savery, has ensured we have fulfilled the 46 criteria to be recognised as an eSmart school by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
Since we first registered with the program, we have introduced many new policies and activities to improve the way our school manages cyber safety, bullying and cyberbullying. I can certainly speak of where we are at in regards to online safety, but I must say at the outset that it also has to be carried through at home. Here are five good rules to adhere to at home in regards to children and the internet:
1. No computers or TVs in childrens’ rooms.
2. Be aware of what your children are doing online, even if you don’t understand it. If you don’t understand it, ask them to explain it to you. If they can’t explain it to you, get someone else to.
3. Don’t assume your children will tell you everything they are doing online. Check up on them.
4. Remember: everyone is a poor judge of how much they use the internet, especially children.
5. Be aware that the internet can be like a drug - used to avoid other things in life.
Set an example for a balanced life. You can’t just tell them to limit their internet use—you have to do it too.
If you would like to famliarise yourself with Cyber Safe education, please refer to the following websites for more information:
• Australian Government eSafety Website
• Important Information for Parents from eSmart