Be CyberSmart – Enjoy, but be Aware!

I have just completed all four modules of connect.ed and now have a much better understanding of how to be cyber smart.  Upon completion I received a Certificate which provides evidence that I will be able to include for my teacher’s graduate standard APST 4.5.

Connect.ed has four modules –

  1. The Connected World
  2. Cybersafety and your students
  3. Schools and the Law
  4. Putting it into practice

Module 1The connected world – This provided me with a better understanding of why it is important to young people that they are able to connect to online friends.  Young people feel that to online chat is a powerful tool as they are at a stage in their lives when they are working out who they are and what they want to be.

I do believe that parents need to know who their young children are speaking to online.  Children need to understand the dangers of chatting online and be educated to what is appropriate to reveal and what they need to take caution with.  For example it is not appropriate to reveal your full name and address to some you meet online.

I also learned about the many types of social networking and what is appropriate to particular ages.  The many types range from Facebook, Myspace, Form Spring, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Superclubs PLUS and Twitter.

Module 2Cybersafety and your students – Young people are provided with open doors to use online technologies to all around the world.  This can provide many great opportunities to them, but at the same time can make them vulnerable to unwanted, unsafe, unfriendly and anti-social interactions online.  While students are under our care we need to guide them to stay safe and make sound decisions in the connected world in which they live.

In module two we were provided with the following learning aims and outcomes –

Learning aims for this module –
– Become aware of the many cybersafety issues that young people face online,
– Gain effective strategies to help students and school communities to both prevent cybersafety issues and react
appropriately should they occur.

Learning outcomes for this module –
– Be able to identify students at risk of unsafe behaviours online.
– Influence student behaviours and attitudes about the use of online technologies
– Establish strategies to prevent unsafe online behaviour and use among the student body
– Have successful plans to deal with unsafe online behaviours should they occur
– Gain insight about how young people use online technologies for socialising or interaction.

Module 3Schools and the Law – I realise the importance of school having policies for Cyber Smart and the need to involve young people and their families.  Schools need to have a framework and direction of how they will implement the policy and how the elements of the policy of how they are aiming to prevent online safety issues.  But I do have concerns about making educators accountable for students’ online behaviours that occurs outside of school hours.

After reading Beata’s post I realise she and others also express the same concerns that I have on –

how can educators being made accountable for our students’ outside school hours online activities?’.

Module 4Putting it into practice – On the Cyber Smart website there are a wide range of resources  available.  These range from interactive games to whole lessons which provide help for planning lessons for cyber smart education.  I believe these will be great support for my future teaching and I will also be informing the teachers at the school where I work about these great cyber smart resources.

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