CyberSafety is a headline-grabbing topic that affects everyone of us. It is more than CyberBullying – it involves identity fraud, phishing, computer security and a whole range of internet and technology based issues. At Coomera Anglican College, we have recognised the need to educate our teachers, parents and students about CyberSafety, and have been doing so proactively since 2008. We have a whole school approach that is still developing, and involves some key elements.
Firstly, we have formed a CyberSafety Committee of enthusiastic and relevant staff stakeholders, so that we can effectively decentralise and administer the promotion of our message. As the Primary Coordinator of students, Peter Parlett represents the Primary School, where we are focusing specifically in the Years 4 to 6 students, whilst still encouraging safe practices for the younger students. Sasha Ristic and Phil Bishop represent the Junior and Senior Secondary schools respectively, and have a vested interest via their ongoing studies into Boys in Education. Kerry Lowe and Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux are College Student Counsellors and therefore are very involved in student welfare. Afzal Shariff has valuable input as the Head of IT, and Matthew Dixon represents as the Head of RaVE.
Some of the activities and initiatives that the committee is supporting include:
- The CyberSafety Net – a College based website that can be used by anyone from around the world in their quest to educate students about CyberSafety. This portal will hold our College CyberSafety Curriculum and resources (still in development)
- Promotion of world-wide events like Safer Internet Day and National Cyber Security Awareness Week
- Maintaining an ongoing dialogue about CyberSafety via student assembly presentations, staff meetings, classroom activities and general interactions with students
- Participation in the Youth Advisory Group on Cybersafety (YAG)
- Student, Teacher and Parent information sessions delivered by the ACMA CyberSmart Team
- Participation in the CyberSafety Strand of the QSITE state conference to be held at CAC in July 2012
- Infusing CyberSafety into homework, RaVE and PD activities
The teachers at Coomera Anglican College are committed to providing education for students to ensure that they use the internet safely. It is vitally important that students and parents reinforce this commitment. A good way to start is by following a few simple rules when using the internet:
- Keep personal stuff personal – including addresses, phone numbers, etc
- Protect your username and password
- Stay positive online – friendly, respectful and trustworthy
- Don’t assume that you are is anonymous on the internet – people can be identified by various methods
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is
- Seek adult advice if something makes you feel uncomfortable
- Don’t participate in any negative interactions – break the cycle
- Keep your computers in common areas, NOT in bedrooms
- Back everything up regularly – keep at least 2 copies of all your digital belongings, including school work
Together we can help try to make the internet a safer place for all users.