Ideas for ensuring your students are “good digital citizens” and “safe” users of technology in your classroom.

How will you address their use of technology at home? What are your ideas, based on the policy documents.

Be aware of the students. Students becoming more withdrawn, sleepy, lonely, negative with unexpected changes in friendship groups can be signs of cyber bullying. Talk to them privately, say you are worried and want to help. Major concerns should be discussed with parents.

Obviously it’s better to address cyber bullying prior to it taking place. Make sure your students are not passive bystanders and feel safe standing up and speaking out against bullying when they see it.

Free presentations and brochures can also be booked or ordered to help students and parents deal with cyber bullying.

Students should also be made aware of the risks inherent in social media. Things like over-sharing of sensitive, embarrassing or private material. Not protecting personal details or being too trusting of online strangers. Again, keeping students informed on the risks is vital as a preventative measure, rather than censoring these websites, instead have them learn to use them in a responsible manner.

Making students aware of useful, free e-security software and safe practice is also important. How to recognise disreputable sites and scam emails are digital reading skills that need to be developed.

In terms of addressing ICT use at home, involving the parents is essential. Whether it is by sending brochures home or discussing issues in a parent-teacher meeting.

Some useful websites online safety:

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au

http://www.digizen.org/

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