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Digital Security | Week 3

Cyber Safety

The topic of this week’s lecture has prompted me to examine the risks faced by students using the internet and mobile technologies. A recent online article in The Telegraph News titled: School cyber bullying growing: report details self-harm, bomb recipes (McDougall, 2014) discusses a report conducted into the NSW Department of Education relating to serious incidents of online anti-social behaviour, including cyber bullying. In one incident a female student, who had been cyber bullied, attempted self-harm in the school bathroom (McDougall, 2014).

As a teaching student I asked myself, “What role will I play as a teacher?” Technology is so prominent in our personal lives and today’s education. The following points summarise how, as a teacher, I can ensure my students know how to use technology safely.

Key elements:

  • Remain current with the technologies my students have access to in the home and among friends;
  • Ensure my students know what cyber safety means, can identify cyber bullying behaviours and, know who they can report unsafe behaviour to;
  • Ensure my students can confidently locate and adjust the privacy and security settings of different technologies used in the classroom;
  • Regularly visit cyber-safety in lessons to keep examples of unsafe or risky online behaviour prevalent in my student’s minds. (Remind students of what to do when they come across unsafe behaviour).

In a separate online article Teen’s death highlights cyber bullying trend by ABC News online (Dikeos, 2009) victim of cyber bullying, Tom Wood, states “the internet is a positive and important social tool for young people and just switching off the computer in order to deal with cyber bullying is not a realistic option.” Wood suggests students “not to respond to the bully but try to block and delete them” and, “save the evidence and report the abuse to the administrator” (Dikeos, 2009).

 

Following On…

Here are a few websites I located through my research into the digital security topic of cyber bullying:

  • Cybersmart, Australian Government – aimed at Young Kids, Kids, Teens, Parents and Schools. Underneath the Kids section (for primary school age) there is a cyber-safety quiz covering online safety and testing the student’s knowledge about what to do in different scenarios.
  • Tune In Not Out – aimed at teen audience but contains useful resources a teacher could use. The website covers a wide range of teenage topics: Alcohol & Drugs, Partying, Anxiety & Depression, Body Image, Safety and Violence including cyber bullying, and many more. The cyber bullying section has video, stories, factsheets and more. Definitely not a resource for primary students to explore freely.

It is great to see resources like these available on the internet. As with everything related to technology, it will be important to keep up to date as new resources will continue to be uploaded all the time.

An interesting side-note:

Throughout my research into the subject I discovered SO MANY resources like those above, available on the internet aimed at students and teachers alike. Overwhelmingly students themselves are among the expansive number of people uploading anti-cyber bullying messages online. It was a true representation that, thanks to technology, students around the world are using their skills as digital content creators (Howell, 2012) to be actively involved in online video campaigns against cyber bullying.

 

References

Dikeos, T. (2009, July 23). Teen’s death highlights cyber bullying trend. ABC News. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-07-23/teens-death-highlights-cyber-bullying-trend/1363362

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Cyber safety help button [Image] (2014). Retrieved from https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/

McDougall, B. (2014, February 26). The Telegraph News. Retrieved from Daily Telegraph: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/school-cyber-bullying-growing-report-details-selfharm-bomb-recipes/story-fni0cx12-1226837704606

 

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