Susan McLean, a Cyber-Safety expert, returned to our school on Thursday 6th February to share her knowledge and experiences of helping young people use technology responsibly and respectfully, with our students in Year 7.
Mrs. Barb Wheeler-Scott, our new School Chaplain, found "it provided a lot of interest to Year 7 students because it was relevant to them through seminar discussion and a YouTube clip of young school students "I am Stronger" by 'Unkle Adams' ( http://youtu.be/gkaxbaX1WAE ) to get the message across".
All students found the information helpful. Some of the students said they learned that:
"You have to be 17+ for Kik"; "Nothing is ever deleted"; "A lot of bad people are online"; "To block people I don't know and to help stop bullying"; "Not to post rude photo's of yourself or other people"; "Privacy is very important on social networking".
Susan McLean, a former Victorian Police Officer of 27 years, encouraged students to stand up if online behaviour is unacceptable and to block unwanted or unknown people; don't respond to derogatory messages, keep a copy if needed for follow-up with School or Police and delete the comments. Changing your password at least four times a year and keeping it private from friends is essential and ensuring your privacy settings are set correctly makes a difference. Talking to a trusted adult is a really important step.
The students decided they would do at least one thing each after the session. Some of the comments were to:
"Change all my privacy settings"; "Don't add randoms"; "Not having Facebook until 13"; "Get rid of my Kik app and not go on it anymore".
Susan McLean encouraged parents and caregivers to learn about the new apps and programs their children are using. For example, type into Google "how safe is Kik (*or any other app, program or game they are using) for my child?" and learn more them.
Using online technology can be useful and safer if used respectfully, responsibly, with supervision and information about laws and safer practices. In the "download" section below are some tips for Parents/ Caregivers from Susan McLean. Additional parental/caregiver information can be found at (www.cybersmart.gov.au/parents.aspx )
Young people are encouraged to talk about what happens online to their Parent/ Caregiver, a trusted adult; Chaplain, Wellbeing Officer, Teacher at school or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or online at (www.kidshelp.com.au/teens/ ).