Feature Article

Feature Article

 

CYBERSMART INFORMATION: WHY WE NEED TO INCORPORATE NEW TECHNOLOGIES INTO THE CLASSROOM

 

A Cybersmart Guide for Families has been sent home with the eldest child today. It has been produced by The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and it outlines many issues that relate to internet use and has lots of advice for parents.

 

THE MODERN STUDENT

 

In this day and age, the majority of students have grown up with the internet and technology as a regular part of life. The reality is that for a modern student, technology acts as an extension to their identity.

 

They use it:

 

  • both at school and for homework
  • as a source of information and entertainment
  • as a key communication tool
  • as an important means to socialise

 

As our students at Carnegie get older, the reason why they use technology begins to differ. It is important that as a community we teach our students to be technologically able, aware and safe. We need to send a strong message about acceptable cyber etiquette and the responsibilities students have when they are online.

 

The reality for teenagers is that:

 

  • time spent using technology will increase
  • technology is a crucial part of ‘fitting in’ as a teenager
  • peer pressure is enormous
  • technology runs as a form of social currency
  • social media can help students build relationships and networks outside schools
  • technology offers a richness of sharing and exchange

 

The use of particular technologies vary according to community, age and gender.

 

Typical websites used are:

 

 

 

 “Click and Connect: Young Australians’ use of online social media” ACMA publication – July 2009

 

HOW CAN WE PREPARE OUR STUDENTS?

 

At Carnegie Primary School we are encouraging our students to be capable cybercitizens. We believe we need to work with students to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to develop behaviours to effectively operate in the online world.

 

ACMA have outlined 4 main capabilities of an effective cybercitizen:

 

?Positive online behaviour

 

-This includes appropriate communication. Sometimes the context of a message can be misleading and comments can be taken out of context due to things such as sarcasm that do not translate well via text. ACMA recommends that students use emoticons to set the tone of a message and to express themselves clearly online.

 

?Digital media literacy

 

-This is the ability to access, understand and participate in or create content using digital media. At Carnegie, we have begun this journey with class blogs. We are trying to uphold a culture of positive and respectful learning in a shared online environment.

 

?Peer and personal safety

 

-It is important that students are aware of the need to protect their personal information and privacy online. For young students, learning not to share their passwords (e.g. on Mathletics) is an important learning curve.

 

?e-Security

 

-It is important that students are aware of various ways to protect their computers from viruses and the like. Understanding the importance of using firewall and anti-virus technologies are important practices. Over the year, Carnegie Primary School will be introducing educational programs to our students that tackle the importance of cyber security awareness.