Tag Archives: cybersafety

Changing the way we view cybersafety – Tech Talk Tuesday in review

Tony Richards, (@itmadesimple and co-podcaster of the edtechcrew)  led a discussion on the way we should view cybersafety for Tech Talk Tuesdays. This was a challenging and thought provoking session.

It made us think about:-

  • where are our students online, when are they online, how are they online etc Do we know?
  • holding regular conversations with students
  • creating student surveys to see where they are at, and where the teaching needs to begin!
  • students should be being taught to screencast eg screenr , jing are online tools
  • 20 things I learned – a great free online resource. Could students read one chapter each fortnight and discuss in class? Should this be linked to their blog sidebars?
  • and so much more. Listen to the recording to catch it all.

Shared from the participants

  1. creating online avatars
  2. Let’s stalk women app
  3. the Kony video on youtube
  4. Tony’s bookmarked sites on being smart online 
  5. Report on Targeting Scams from the Australian government

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Changing the way we view cybersafety – a discussion

The Topic: Changing the way we view cyber safety – a discussion
When: Tuesday, May 1st, 4-5pm Melbourne, Australia time (gmt+10)
Where: Online webinar. Click on this link to join the session.
About the session: Taking up from past presentations on TechTalk Tuesdays this session Tony Richards (@itmadesimple) will be lead discussions on the growing challenge of cyber smarts, digital footprints, online reputations and how we are dealing with these issues on a personal, professional and school community level. Participants will explore and discuss ideas that have worked and those that have not, looking to share our knowledge and experience, please come prepared to share, argue and challenge.
About the Presenter: Mr Tony Richards has had a long and varied involvement with ICT in education. He has worked across a large range of environments, including time as a primary classroom teacher, technology advisor, network manager and developer, Distance Education Technology project manager, executive officer with ICTEV subject association, new media specialist with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Director of Information Technology with Northern Territory DET, blogger, podcaster on the Ed Tech Crew.     View LinkedIn profile
Here is the link to the recording. This was such a fabulous,  thought provoking session. Unfortunately, we had some technical issues uploading the presentation,  so the session was shortened. However, Tony has agreed to return in June to complete the full session.

A global audience for a global issue – Tech Talk Tuesdays -Cyber Safety in online spaces.

What a compelling session this was and one that every teacher and associated educationalists must watch! The participants were global in nature and only one Australian teacher participated in this session. For me, that was disappointing as cyber safety is the number one consideration in learning online! It is not a ‘once off’ lesson but a daily reminder! However, it was also apt that we had participants from China, Malaysia and the USA, as this is a global issue! In China, facebook is blocked which could make discussions even more interesting. Issues on student cyber bullying were discussed but also the issue of teacher bullying with sites such as Rate My Teacher shared.

This followed ‘hot on the heels’ of student bullying at a school near mine where students took mobile phone video of the assault and it virally spread beyond their phones. The assaulted student was in intensive care for two days. We need to act!

Here is the link to the recording

Cara Webber expertly led us through the issues that cyber space leads to, giving some graphic examples of inappropriate face book sites, sexting etc and advice on dealing with the issues. The point that struck me and scared me, was that if teachers befriend students and sexting photos appear on their page, the teacher can also  be seen as ‘being in possession’ of child pornography! Sexting must be dealt with and stamped out! But how do we do this? Cara commented that student voice is far more powerful than that of the teacher, and that we need to empower students.

About Cara: Cara is the senior education officer for the Cybersafety Outreach Secion of Security, Safety and e-Education Branch of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Her work focuses on developing cybersafety education programs for teachers, parents and students in order to achieve a whole school response to understanding and safeguarding against potential risks online.
Prior to joining the ACMA, Cara taught VCE English and Psychology for ten years in the secondary sector. She was a pastoral care leader for the Senior Years responsible for behavioural management and the development and coordination of Health and Well-Being programs across these ages

Here are some of the thought provoking youtube movies that Cara shared with us.

  1. Megan’s story

From the chat

  • Cybersmart site
  • @Martin they also present teachable moments – just have to be cautious – instruction for safety – copyrigyt issues – bullying
  • Discussion on the different laws  in each country that participants came from
  • @zegna: to put those photo online is illegal in China
  • Why is it the fault of the victim?
  • Once posted you lose it youtube video
  • Do students realise that everything on the internet is archived
  • @veronica “Education is the way to go but it can be a long and tedious process”

eT@lking and Tech Talk Tuesdays – This week’s sessions

Tech Talk Tuesdays – Tuesday, October 26th, 3:45 – 4:45pm (Melb, Australia time gmt+11)

Topic: Cyber Safety Online

Synopsis:- Cyber safety is the number one consideration, when learning online. Cara Weber will be our guest presenter speaking about this important topic. What does safe online learning look like? How can we all stay safe as possible online? What is the teacher’s duty of care? These and many more questions will be outlined in this session. Cara will also share some websites for use in teaching cybersafety.

About our presenter: Cara Weber is the senior education officer for the Cybersafety Outreach Secion of Security, Safety and e-Education Branch of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Here is the link for the session

eT@lking: Wednesday October 27th, 8-9pm, Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11)

Session Topic: Retribalizing, Literary Style: Virtual Book Clubs and Bookcasts

McLuhan (see the video) predicted we’d have to leave the bookworld behind to be “with it” in the electronic world but with social media we can do it all. Learn about an evolving virtual book club model, online or inworld, that culminates with the screening of collaboratively produced bookcasts, multimedia aesthetic responses to books.

To preview bookcasting, check out this ncbookcast festival You can post questions and comments to the wiki discussion
Meet our Presenter: Cris Crissman, PhD, Distance Learning Consultant, USDLC, Adjunct Assistant Professor, NC State
Writer and Producer
Bio: Cris teaches the “Learning Through Literature with Young Adults” graduate class at North Carolina State University. After ten years of exploring online book clubs, she took the class and the book clubs inworld to Second Life. The students self-select genre book clubs and work collaboratively to produce bookcasts to share with the whole class and the world. Inservice teachers have applied the model in their classrooms. Every year the class leads a virtual author study for teen readers in the state and this year the featured virtual author is Australian Melina Marchetta whose award-winning Finnikin of the Rock is drawing rave reviews from American teens.
Link to join this session

Cyber Safety Awareness Week in Australia

 June 6-11 is National Cyber Security Awareness Week, an Australian Government initiative, implemented in partnership with state and territory governments, to raise awareness of smart online practices.

As part of this awareness, here are two interesting  videos for students from the Think u Know people in the UK

  1. the Jigsaw for upper primary/middle years students
  2. Consequences for middle years/ senior student

These two videos about online safety are great for parents to watch as well as children. The videos are from the UK CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Some reading:  


My school, Hawkesdale P12 College is excited to be one of 20 schools chosen across Victoria, to be part of the Learning  Online Cybersafety initiative, working in conjunction with members of the Department for Education and Early Childhood Development. Five year 8 students will work as a team identifying potential problems with online learning pertinent to our school.  Students will participate in two web conference sessions that will support them to take authentic action in their school. During the online sessions students will work with a cybersafety expert, discussing online safety and identifying research questions that are relevant to their school. Offline, students will gather data and information that addresses their research questions and informs their action. It is anticipated that their action will assist to influence their peers to act more responsibly in the online environment. 

Their first online session was today.

What are you doing for cyber safety awareness week? Have you read any interesting articles or viewed any videos worth sharing. Please comment below.

Do students feel safe blogging?

When I was recently asked to write an article on safety, one of the questions was whether students felt safe using the web2.0 tools. So, I asked Grade 6 students a question on whether they felt safe blogging. (Students have had a class blog for 8 months and individual blogs for 2 months)

Here are some of their replies:-

  • I am very careful, and I make sure I never write anything too personal about me. And instead of using pictures of our selves we use vokis, weemees, and avatars.I feel safe because we are always reminded to not use our last names and we can talk to all our friends and our teachers. Also because our teachers regularly check all of our blogs and leave comments.
  • Because we don’t use photos and teachers remind you not to do some stuff.
  • Noone has said anything bad about my blog.
  • We don’t put our personal details and photos
  • Nobody really annoys us and if they do we can delete them.
  • I do because we dont write anything to personal about our selfs and we dont use pictures we use vokis weemees and avatars.
  • I feel safe as I have not given out heaps of information about where I live.
  • I feel safe because I haven’t used any of my information, last name or pictures .
  • Because i haven’t given heaps of info about where i live. I use Avatars instead of photos

Keeping students cybersafe!

As we are pioneers in cyberspace, cybersafety is a concern that is being refined and evaluated all the time - trying to balance transparency with privacy, allowing students some freedom, yet protecting them and ensuring their safety at all times.

Students complete posts in classtime but many find it so enjoyable, they post at home keeping a running journal, adding multimedia and producing online digital portfolios.

Here is what we have done in our classrooms this year, in relation to cybersafety:-

  • Watched videos on cybersafety, consulted various online sites (see suggestions) and hold ongoing classroom discussions.
  •  Constantly reinforce the need for safety during class eg no surnames, no addresses/phone numbers and other personal details to be placed online.
  •  Students create their own avatar using MS Paint or use other avatar creating websites  This becomes their personal “photographic ID” for blogging purposes, voicethreads and other online sites. (See the image of a global voicethread below for some of the grade 3/4 avatars.)

avatars on voicethread

  • Parents sign permission forms agreeing to publish student work online , online photographs, on the condition that no names are attached and group photos to be used where possible.
  • A folder and checked lists are kept to enable us to ensure these conditions are adhered to.
  • A partnership with parents is essential, so an information evening with grades 4-6 parents was held early on in the year, outlining the pedagogy for the use of blogs and other web2.0 tools and outlining cybersafety issues. A “techno corner” article appears weekly in our school and community newsletter.
  • Parents are encouraged to ‘adopt’ a student who may not have the internet at home. This ensures all students may get comments even those whose parents do not have internet access. Again, there are many watchful ‘eyes’ (both parents, staff and community) on our students, to alert us to any impending problems or issues.
  • We have a great staff and many of them voluntarily read student posts and comment on them, including our principal. So students are aware that they are constantly being monitored.
  • I have joint administration rights with my students on their blogs, so comments and posts can be edited if need be and comments and incoming links moderated.
  • Jess McCulloch, our LOTE teacher, a techno savvy person and I are currently applying RSS feeds for each student’s blog to our google readers, so that we are alerted to any new posts that students put up.

Here are some further activities we will do:

Further parent info evenings or invite parents to  classes so they can see what their children are doing.
Add links on our blog sites outlining cybersafety protocol.
Produce a form for Students to sign in the presence of their parents alerting both parites to correct internet protocol.

Further interesting reading and links:-

10 digital rules

Additional postscript: It is only when you hear of Al Upton and the possible consequences that online work can bring, that it makes you even more aware of trying to keep our  students as safe as possible, and that wonderful tool of blogging intact and ongoing. However, we can never guarantee they will remain 100% safe, but  we can give them the skills, and education in the classroom to assist in coping with the dangers and surprises that may lurk out there

Do you have any suggestions or comments to add here?

Postscript: I found this wonderful comment by John Pearce in my spam (would you believe) but would like to add to the body of this post for some further great advice.

Hi Anne,

Nice list and ideas. Another suggestion we have used is to include a page with a set of rules to all of the student based blogs we set up eg http://leaemibps.globalstudent.org.au/ There is a copy of the rules in Word format at http://johnp.wordpress.com/tutorials/

“On a slightly related tack we also asked our students to consider the issue of copyright by directing them to http://mrpbps.globalstudent.org.au/copyright-4-kids/ and then write a page on their blogs in response. Despite most students composing some reasonable responses to the task, many still were fast and loose with images. :(.”

The fear factor cyberballs!!

It was with great dismay that I read another disappointing comment on my “Oz teachers mailing list” in Australia. A request had been made re the use of blogs in primary school education, and one of the replies is as follows:-

 I teach Early Childhood ( are there any other ECEs out there?)  and have
just been advised that my blog will need to cease, as schools are being
advised to withdraw photographic content from online communication. I have
photo permission from all families. I found this quite sad.  It was a very
valuable, interactive ‘document’ for many. Shirley

Only educators who have tried and are using blogging with students and have experienced first hand the wonderful benefits and outcomes that blogging brings can even start to understand the absolute devastation that these Al and Shirley must feel.

This comes almost  just over a week after Al Upton was asked to cease his blogging with the Mini Legends. An interesting article on online predators can be found at http://www.pbs.org/teachers/learning.now/2008/02/questioning_the_notion_of_onli.html would not support the overreaction to blogging, especially to the danger that strangers may represent. (I have already written posts on the wonderful, positive reasons for allowing students to blog.)

However, I wonder, will we continue to ‘see the world through the eyes of predators and other minority unsavoury characters’ and force our students to learn independently the traps that may be out there waiting for them, or will we stand up and fight for our children and students, and teach them how to live in a rich and rewarding global world giving, them the knowlegde and ‘know-how’  for avoiding, protection from and dealing with such ill-characters, should the need arise. Many of our students are already using these web2.0 tools at home and we must prepare and instruct them for this world that they live in and for future digital citizenship that they will all experience in the future.

I would urge the ‘powers that be’the various departments of education, to discuss with those of us who have trialled and are using blogging to ensure that drastic requests for closure are not made, but rather procedures put in place, to protect this wonderful educational tool that we are experiencing. Collaboration is part of our technology now.

“Let’s embrace this as an opportunity to promote the value of blogs and online learning generally. …… there is enormous value and potential in celebrating our voices.” Al Upton

Australia is the lucky country, and I am still lucky to be in Victoria as so far, our department continues to be interested and supportive of the new emerging technologies.