What are they up to online?This was probably the most eye-opening part of the seminar for me. From 8 year olds with Facebook to Moshi-monsters to late night gaming on Nintendo-dsi, I can see that primary school internet use is something I had underestimated.
The most concerning element for me was the idea of children using very adult tools such as youtube and facebook, and the concepts that they may be exposed to and be subsequently desensitised to. ACMA's cybersmart schools gateway provides fantastic resources regarding what children of varying ages may be up to online. They break internet behaviour into age groups, and provide comprehensive information on the stage of cyber development, as well as resources for teachers. This will certainly be my first stop for any class I work with in the future.
Developing a Cybercitizen
ACMA has developed a cybercitizen profile based on four categories that describe the "skills, knowledge and behaviours or capabilities" (ACMA Cybersmart, accessed 19/4/11) that are required to be safe online, and describe these stages for various age groups. The four capabilities are;
- Positive online behaviour
- Digital media literacy
- Peer and personal safety
For me, the thought of teaching cybersafety seems a lot more achievable when broken down into these user-friendly categories. I love their use of the word positive for online behaviour, rather than simply telling chidlren what the can't do. At the end of the day, we want our students to have access to the wealth of information that is offered by Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, we just need to teach them how to do it safely.
A Side Note on BullyingThe big media buzz at the moment is cyberbullying, and is a very serious issue plaguing many students in our classrooms. I came across this video recently, and thought this would be a great opportunity to share it. For me, the message is that there are different ways for children to stand up for one another, and that a small gesture to a bullying victim can go a long way, and I am sure the message in the advert could be carried across to the cyberbullying context. And take note of some of the comments on the video (if you visit the original Youtube site); an example of some negative online behaviour that we don't want our students to be a part of!