As a part of the requirements of the learning path for my current course I was required to complete an online training course in the area of cyber safety. The modules were an excellent look at the intricacies of the digital world in which we now live and which is so familiar and second nature to the current primary and secondary school student population. I was intrigued to identify how much I use and rely on this online world for myself, someone that I would consider to not be that computer savvy. One of the important messages from the training was to importance of teaching students and raising awareness about the risks of sharing too much information online. At my recent school pre-service teaching placement I began discussing the web 2.0 world and heard about a 15 year old boy she knew who was requesting that year 9 girls send him a photo (nude or near nude) of themselves for him to put in his personal album. The scariest part of this is that many girls were happy to oblige!
Another topic that had great coverage was the issue of cyber bullying and learning how to identify it; respond appropriately; and also provide resources and tools to help students understand what cyber bullying is and when someone has crossed the line of appropriate online behaviour. The simulated activities gave a good insight into how a bit of fun and joking can quickly escalate into something for more damaging. The interviews with experts and the information and opinions they share are also very enlightening. The whole course is certainly worth completing and should be re-visited, particularly knowing the speed of technology development that exists in our world and the need to try and stay up to speed.
I am glad I completed this training and recommend you also consider checking it out. I have attached my Cybersmart Connect.ed certificate here, recognising successful completion. Another string to add to the eportfolio bow.