Category Archives: cybersafety

eSmart Week


Last week was eSmart week in Australia – September 2nd-8th. This week is dedicated to building an eSmart Australia and is promoted by the Alannah and Madeline foundation. The goal of this week is to promote cyber safe citizens and keep children safe from bullying, cyber bullying and violence.

Those schools who registered for this event were emailed a link to an online tool kit, full of ideas for school and community events, information for parents, teachers and students etc.

One of the sites that caught my eye was one on popular games, apps and social media. This is an online site setup by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and has links to information such as privacy policies, profile settings, where to block and report those who abuse the terms, community guidelines, FAQs etc.

Application to my ICT classes

Cyber safety and handling online bullying needs to be constantly discussed in class.

  1. Students will brainstorm what eSmart means and write a blog post
  2. They will look at the Games, apps and social media site (as above), search for their favourite games, apps or social media and learn more about the latest apps, how to protect their information and where to get more safety guidance.
  3. Younger classes will create a superhero to add to a post on their blog

Safer Internet Use Day

Feb 7th is Safer Internet Day  across the world, not only for students but for all who use the internet – whether beginners or experienced users.

Our Department of Education and Training in partnership with the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commission organised several webinars on Safer Internet Use. Read more here. These webinars were online and free.



Another exciting opportunity was offered to schools in Victoria, to apply for the opportunity to bring 2 female students from year 10 to work with Facebook and Instagram in their new Melbourne offices in the Docklands discussing the topic – Safety in the Age of Disappearing Media. Much to their excitement, two of our year 10 girls were accepted into the workshop and I accompanied them. The hashtag used is #girltakeover with the discussions being on encouraging them to be the power for change and make the internet and even more positive place to be, especially in regard to social media. Facebook and Instagram sponsored this event and were interested in getting feedback from this age group as all too often it is adults who are vocal and dominant.


There were fun activities for them to start with enabling them to get to meet the other students, gain confidence and have fun, in preparation for the ‘hard fun’ about to begin.

Some of the great advice given once the day formally began included:-

  • Best filters that exist are between your brain.
  • Disappearing media does not happen – it is there forever but it can be rewritten
  • be empowered, be fierce, be strong, control your own brand.
  • Facebook and other sites create great privacy settings so ues them – block, mute where necessary!


The children’s eSafety Commissioner took an active part in the day.

Girls discussed

  • the pressures of sharing information,
  • why misunderstandings occur, why stories might be change and the trust that goes into the moment of sharing.
  • the challenges of sharing media eg snapchat, instagram story.

Trust is  put into ‘just a moment’, will people understand the context of what your are sharing, screenshot content which is supposed to be deletable. Platforms are evolving all the time. Instagram has live story now to create real connections. T is all aoubt likes – adds new pressures. Doesnt have to be perfect. Deletaable media. Share moment which are not to be massively shared. Can put lots out there without spamming.Our intentions are temporary and private but can be made public. You are not being humiliated – they are.

A cartoonist captured many of the activities and events of the day.

As we all love social media – there is a need to talk about all that we love in this world. Expectations as women what we want out there, how it should be respected etc. The girls will come back to school and take on a leadership role sharing what they experienced, seeking further feedback and keeping conversations open at school on  positive and safe social media spaces.

SticksnStones and Project Rockit and were there to help organise the day.


What did you do for Safer Internet Use Day?

What we need to know about trending apps with students?

"Cybersafety" as seen by year 7 students

“Cybersafety” as seen by year 7 students

Primary students, secondary students, teachers and parents were given separate sessions in an opportunity to listen to Greg Gebhart from Cyber Smart. His presentations were filled with information, advice and case studies, tailored to the different audiences and had a powerful impact on all sectors in his quest for us to become cybersmart.

Children and teenagers are forging ahead using apps for social networking that many adults have not heard of. However, it was reassuring to learn that the majority of children and young people are not engaged in risky behaviour.

Exposure doesn’t always mean harm – it is simply part of a learning experience.

Following are my notes taken from several of the presentations.

Apps that students of all ages are using in 2014:-

  1. Facebook: (age 13+) – there is shift away from Facebook by students as grandparents are increasingly using FB.
  2. Instagram (age 13+) an app or site to share photos (like an online photo album) Can customize and choose private and public. If public then google images will add it to their site
  3. Kik (17+) is instant messaging, photo sharing and audio. You don’t have to have a mobile phone as it can put on ipod, iPad etc and send msgs to a mobile phone free of charge. 30-40% of primary kids in primary school use it. Generally 85% of kids in secondary school. Great care required : cannot hide profile, set privacy settings. It is a legal site to trade and share pornography. Cannot block others. Most kids in kik will have a sex offender contact them at some stage. Approx. 40% of primary kids in our school with kik said they had been contacted.
  4. Youtube is still very popular – but as kids like to make their own videos they are moving out to vine.
  5. Vine – Most people watch 30-60 secs of a video and if they don’t like it, get out and don’t add a “like” to the video. But vine is only 6 secs in length – can get thousands more likes than FB on vine. Behaviours of risk is becoming noticeable.
  6. Tumblr (blogging and sharing) was 2nd most popular site last year but is now 50th
  7. is question and answer social media networking site where you can ask a question and then get an answer. Cannot increase privacy settings as on facebook and twitter. See 10 facts parents should know about
  8. is a social site that allows people who find you interesting to ask you anonymous questions so they can know you better. About from cybersmart
  9. Snapchat is photo sharing site – go from device to device but self destructs after a short time. Popular because photos are not stored on device. But girls use it for naked photos and selfies Snapchat alerts you a copy has been made with screen capture. But copies can be made with other apps eg snap-hack pro, snapcapture etc
  10. Increase in using apple products – students are making folder called school work and hiding stuff from parents and teachers in the school work folder. Growth in calculators – CI calculator or my calculator. If type up 4 digit code you got when set it up, you can store photos in private folder.
  11. Pen in pocket has high definition camera and used to video teacher. Now internet watches – called iTime, Samsung, pebble. Can do kik, Instagram on phone via watches. New Samsung is third update, has high definition camera as well
  12. Wearable devices – mini computer. Can plug into phone – records steps each day, records sleep pattern

 Customize protection and security settings

  • Stranger – danger enablers – Students often go with default settings and don’t privatise that. Use skype – change settings to automatically receive video and share screens with “only people in my contact list”
  • Hashtags in Instagram – keep settings tight. Take care with hashtags as this makes the images public. Most popular hashtag is #love. It this is used on photo goes to the biggest photo album in the world. It is the type of photos hashtagged that is the issue
  • Location services – turn off GPS tracking in photos (camera), Instagram and FB
  • Lock sites down as much as possible. Customise privacy settings>report and block. Students are good at screen captures. Most modern mobile phones can block individual numbers or random numbers. HTC and Samsung – can disable phones during night time so children do not receive phone calls at night.
  • The ACMA cybersafety website has a support button to a kids helpline . It also has a chat box. Make sure students know the number

Modelling the behaviours

  • Turn ipad off
  • Follow policy relating to parent/student connections. Lock down your photos. Ensure any posts align with high ethical standards – so even if locked down it can become public
  • Avoid taking pics of students on personal devices
  • Seek advice before responding to defamatory material
  • First Australian Twitter case re defamation

Cybersmart Resources

Other Resources:





What does the world’s largest classroom look like?

map across vic
What would the world’s classroom look like at any point in time? I feel that I experienced that this morning. Why? There was/were

    • 1 classroom (virtual in Blackboard Collaborate)
    • up to 17,000 students
    • 170 physical classes
    • A class of deaf students from Furlong Park School
    • 1 teacher (or presenter)

It is Safer Internet Use Day today and the Topic is “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  Our Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development organised a webinar for all interested Victorian classrooms. The presenter was Greg Gebhart from Cybersmart ACMA who spoke on “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  The session went for 45 mins and was highly interactive which is essential to student engagement in a virtual environment.

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Questions and polls were posed at varying intervals. Class answers were placed in the chat. The presentation included lots of graphics and images and Greg’s presentation style was also engaging. When a round of applause was called for at the end, many used the virtual clapping hand but it was also exciting to hear real applause and cheers from classes who turned on their microphones.

Isn’t technology exciting? This is  a wonderful use of technology that has engaged and embraced many students across Victoria simultaneously. To keep the conversations going, innovative Sandy Phillips has created a blog where students will actually be able to “Build a Safer Internet” and share their ideas, experiences and opinions. It is rich in resources so check out each of the pages as well as the posts and interact where possible. Below are the questions that Sandy uses to get discussions going with students and others.


What are you doing for Safer Internet Day?

Teaching about Scams

It was with interest that I listened to another staff member tell me about the interesting email he had recieved inviting him to take part in a survey with one of or largest grocery chains in Australia. Thinking this could be interesting to share with my classes to teach authenticity of websites, I shared it with my classes this week -even my grade 4/5 ICT class. It worked really well with students enthausiastically sifting through the pluses, minuses and interesting components. (The active link has been removed so that others may not be mislead).

Here is the email:- (Note that this was the url but warning!

From: Woolworths Supermarkets []
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012 4:05 PM
Subject: Customer Satisfaction Survey!
Importance: High

You have been selected to access the Woolworths 5 questions Survey and win a $50.00 gift certificate.

Please click here and complete the form to receive your reward. Thank you.

This is an automated message. Please do not reply.Message Id: 0019268154-wmrtsrv.


Here is what it looked like:

  1. I printed off the email msg below and got some classes to read the email and highlight anything that caught their attention. What was interesting, what was a little concerning etc. We then discussed as a class.
  2. With another group, they drew up a table in MS Word with the headings plus, minus and interesting. Under each heading they added their findings. They were given 5 minutes to do this. Then discussed as a group.

We also discussed why the clickable link was a potentially dangerous option. I did click on the link after warning them. This took me to the survey form. Below are two screen shots of the actual survey. Students read this, then talked about the interesting aspects of it and the authenticity of the site.


There were so many discussion points arising from this email

  • authentication
  • personal identity
  • how to protect personal identity
  • potential dangers of clickable links
  • scams, phish, potential outcomes of clicking on suspicious links
  • vulnerable people etc

Please feel free to use the screen grabs, but take care with any clickable link and do not submit that survey form or click on next.

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.

Avatars – keeping students cybersafe

Please meet the students from my classes – they include years 7 through to years 9/10 ICT and some of my accounting students from years 11 and 12.
Can you find their names, their ages, their personal details from the pics below? No? Therefore they are really safe when using avatars as  computer identities when working online.

Students from my classes

Here are our two favourite avatar creating sites:-

  1. lego avatars with reasonably clever  (this requires a screen dump to save – see below)
  2. portrait making  with illustrator avatars – right click on completed avatar and save image as ….. in appropriate folder
  3. or you might like to use MS Paint and draw your own.

To make a screen dump:-

  • complete your avatar
  • Find the key PrtSc (on top RHS of keyboard = print screen)
  • open a drawing or image editing tool eg MS Paint
  • Click ‘paste’
  • Crop the image
  • Save as a jpg or png file

Extension activities

  1. A voki or talking avatar can then be produced and added in a text widget on the side bar or within a blog post.
  2. A  super hero can also be created. See flurogreen’s super hero. Her blog also features a lego avatar and a voki. Can you find them?
  3. The teacher could add a wallwisher, getting students to describe key features of their avatar and how it relates to their personality.

Can anyone give instructions for mac computers? What avatar creating programs do you use?


Cyber Scare in Second Life and where are the Police!

On Wednesday’s eT@lking, we had a rather interesting and worrying incident. In fact the first scary incident that I have ever been exposed to in all my four years of using online technology.

The session – a workshop on Second Life (SL) started in elluminate, with slides being shown by Marian Heddesheimer, walking us through how to find where to go, ensure audio worked etc. Unfortunately, some of the participants were late, so missed some of these introductions. As they entered elluminate, I reminded them to have the latest version of second life downloaded.

Halfway through the session, the participants who could, entered SL and were to meet Marian at a predetermined place, while   elluminate and application sharing were still used. However, one of our participants, Penny, who was relatively new to second life, started off at the ‘beginners’ island”. Two participants soon joined Marian in the predesgnated meeting room, but Penny was not to be seen. Next, there was question in the chat from Penny, saying that avatars were asking her age? They then told her she had arthritus and set upon attacking her and jumping on her. This included four avatars and two animals.

Brave Penny was so brave, in that she divorced her feelings from her avatar, kept her cool, chatted to us in the chat window, then used audio to find out how to meet the rest. Quick witted and experienced Marian was soon able to find her and teleport her to safety.

This leads to the following questions:-

  • Who polices second life?
  • How do you report cyber crime?
  • How many unsuspecting newbies have been frightened out of SL, by these cyber thugs at the beginners’ space?
  • How do we keep ourselves safe in second life and virtual worlds?
  • What extra measures do we need to take for our students to ensure their safety?
  • What measures should I take next time, to ensure that all our online participants are safe?

Cyber crime can be reported but the avatars’ names would be required. In those moments of anxiety, the victim is using all oftheir powers to try and ‘get out of there’ without observing the avatars’ names.

Who as advice for us on this problem?

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.