Safer Internet Week
This week, all students and staff in the Junior School participated in our 6th annual ‘Safer Internet Week’. Safer Internet Week is one of the ways the Junior School is striving for not just digital literacy but equipping all students to become digitally fluent 21st century citizens through authentic, unique, and engaging learning experiences. Throughout the week, K-6 participated in various activities, which are detailed below.
Our infants kicked off Safer Internet Week with two special guest visitors, Senior Constables Jim and Tom from Burwood Police Area. They engaged the boys with their real stories, presentation on digital safety, and the work of police that keeps our community safe. The boys even got to see all the equipment a police officer carries on their duty belt!
Later during the week, each grade participated in a virtual excursion with Stef, a Kids Helpline counsellor based in Brisbane. Kindergarten and Year 1 focused on understanding the dangers of going online and the necessary strategies to keep themselves safe, protect personal information and know who can help when things go wrong. The key take-away message and accompanying hand gestures were reinforced throughout the week – “STOP”, “SHARE”, and “SHUT IT DOWN”.
Year 2 delved deeper with the counsellor to help understand the impacts of technology overuse on our body and mind. They learnt about technology addiction, signs and warnings of technology overuse and strategies to have a technology break. The boys came away with three ideas to help balance their technology time:
- Green time – spending time outside.
- Screen breaks – frequent breaks away from a screen.
- Prioritise – balancing the ‘needs to do’ and the ‘wants to do’.
Finally, Kindergarten enjoyed our popular ‘iPad Boot Camp’ afternoon designed and hosted by our Year 6 IT Gurus. See their article for the complete recap!
Years 3 and 4
Years 3 and 4 also participated in virtual excursions with Carla, a counsellor from Kids Helpline. Year 3 learnt the difference between appropriate and inappropriate choices on devices. The boys explored the importance and benefits of making good choices online, being wise, respectful, responsible, and thinking about your reputation, and strategies for contributing positively to the online world!
Year 4 focused on respecting others and managing online boundaries. They learnt how to make good social decisions, creating and maintaining respectful friendships/relationships, communication skills, managing boundaries online and being a positive role model. Year 4 also joined our upper primary boys when Senior Constables Jim and Tom joined us (see below).
Both grades also undertook a BrainPOP unit focusing on online safety. The boys followed along with Moby and Cassie as they provided simple tips on surfing the web wisely and keeping safe while playing games, chatting with friends, and exploring new sites. The learning module challenged each boy while providing strategies to protect personal information, communicate with people online and seeking help.
Years 5 and 6
After our Year 6 IT Gurus kicked off Safer Internet Week with their assembly presentation on Monday, Years 5 and 6 began their eSmart Digital License journey. The eSmart Digital Licence is an online safety education program that teaches boys how to play, learn and socialise safely in the digital world. Over the course of Term 2, boys will complete modules on digital reputation, privacy, gaming, in-app purchasing, traps, screen-time implications, as well as friends and strangers. When all topics are completed, each boy will receive an eSmart Digital Licence to recognise being equipped with the skills to help them explore the online world safely.
Years 4 to 6 were visited by Senior Constables Jim and Tom from Burwood Police Area. Constable Jim engaged the boys with his stories as our local police youth officer and a presentation on digital safety statistics and strategies to minimise risk. With a significant number of students already engaged in social media and online gaming (despite the minimum age restrictions of 13-15!), he reminded the boys to utilise the block and report features, keep on topic when chatting (and avoid letting out personal information) and to stick to ‘single player’ mode or ‘multiplayer’ with trusted friends. A scary statistic shared was the average profile of the typical online gamer is a 34-year-old male! Finally, he reminded the boys we all have the right to feel safe, and the police are here to help, even when we are online.
Safer Internet Week was a terrific success as part of our ongoing commitment to raising awareness of cyber safety within the Junior School. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers and students for getting involved and acknowledge all the Year 6 IT Gurus for their enthusiasm, ideas, planning, making assembly speeches and getting involved with year group activities – thank you, boys!
Evan Karagiannis | eLearning and Innovative Projects
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