Cyber Safety

It is important to teach children the importance of cyber safety and to protect their innocence. Anne Mirtschin from Hawkesdale P-12 suggests that a great way to involve your students is to prepare a code of conduct together as a class. This allows everyone to have their say equally and know exactly what the rules are.

Digital Citizenship is a way to assist and equip students/technology users for a society full of technology. Frequently we see students and adults misuse and abuse technology and not know how to rectify the situation. The concern is more than what the users do not know but what is considered suitable technology usage.

Here is an example of the year 7 Hawkesdale P-12 code of conduct when using online chat

1. Greet people with an appropriate introduction, showing respect at all times.
2. Always use full English i.e. no IM or txt language. This is a professional site and translators cannot translate IM
3. Logon with an appropriate username that does not reveal your identity. Keep that username for the entire session.
4. No spamming. e.g. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
5. Use appropriate language at all times - no swearing, slang, words or dubious nature or double meanings.
6. No cyberbullying or put-downs etc.
7. Be sensitive to people from other cultures who may be present.
8. Never reveal any personal information e.g. phone numbers, addresses etc.
9. Avoid using CAPS, as it means you are shouting!
10. If in doubt, just don't do it!

Anne’s view on digital citizenship is:
• Anyone around the world can see what you write online. Different cultures use different words and may require different protocol. What might be an acceptable word here, may offend others! Take care at all times.
• Digital citizenship means we do not ever aim to hurt anyone’s feelings or bully them.
• Never meet anyone you have met on the internet without asking your parents’ permission.
• Make sure you publish only your own work. Take your own photos, create your own music. If you use online images make sure there is a creative commons license or get written permission from the owner.
• Read over your writing before you post it to check spelling and that it reads well before publishing or commenting.
• It is always good protocol to reply to a person who comments on your blog, by either emailing them back or commenting back on their blog. Conversations can then begin.

Useful online sites