Posts Tagged parents

Chatterbox – A Parent’s Guide to Their Child’s Digital Activities

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has a large amount of resources dedicated to being cyber(smart:).  One area they are targeting is educating parents in order to help them understand the online world that their children are frequenting.  Chatterbox tries to help parents identify where technology fits with the trials and tribulations of growing up, and offers ways to help protect your children.

Part of this strategy includes some excellent videos for parents.  The first three videos are embedded in The CyberSafety Net, Coomera Anglican College’s very own eSmart website.  They typically run for 90 seconds.  They are informative, engaging and may just save your family a lot of problems in the future.  The topics include:

  • Selfies and Someone-Elsies
  • Tots, Teens and In-Betweens
  • Trolling, Tagging and Bagging

Parents can join the conversation on the ACMA CyberSmart Facebook page.

Wondering about the hype that surrounds selfies? Or maybe you just want to get your head around what your kids are up to online. Tune in to learn what Cybersmart Chatterbox has to say on selfies, sexting and advice for parents.

We all enjoy sharing images and information on-line, for all sorts of reasons.
How do we help our children navigate the implications that a voyeuristic culture can present?

Tune in on Safer Internet Day – February 11, 2014 and join the conversation below with one or more of our presenters live between 12pm and 1pm EST to share your experiences with other parents on this site throughout the week.

For a fully accessible version, please follow this link:

Cybersmart Chatterbox explores growing up in the digital age. Episode Two provides insight into the social and emotional development of young people and its impact on possible behaviours online.

Issues that may be identified at particular developmental stages and related potential legal and social consequences are explored along with preventative and reactive strategies to help maximise the development of a child’s digital citizenship skills.

Download an accessible version of the full transcript here:

Your child communicates with various people in various ways every day. Online communication through picture posting, status updates, texting and instant messaging is an integral part of life, with many benefits for self-expression. However, young people need to be aware that many of the rules, manners and etiquette principles that apply to face-to-face interactions also apply to digital interactions. Episode Three explores the potential for harm that can sometimes occur when social media is misused.

Download the fully accessible transcript of the video here:

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Two exceptional events in the life of the College occurred last week.  Firstly, we held two very successful CyberSafe Parents sessions in the new Professional Learning Australia training room.  Around 30 vigilant and proactive parents participated the sessions, which focused on our eSmart strategy, mobile technology, creating a family technology plan and dangerous websites.

The main thrust of the sessions was identifying dangerous practices and websites, as well as formulating a family technology plan. Here are my top five tips for a family technology plan:

1.  Get to know the technologies that you children are using all the time.  Become and expert and ensure that you are a ‘friend’ who can see everything that they, and their other ‘friends’, are posting.

2.  Insist that the family technology plan travels with your children.  The same rules that apply at home apply for them at parties, sleepovers, time away from home and whenever they are unsupervised by you.

3.  Enforce the rule that deletion of online history, such as videos viewed on YouTube, websites visited and search history, is a sure sign that the child is participating in activities that they don’t want you to see.  These actions should result is loss of online access, as you have the right to know exactly what your children are viewing.

4.  Compromise on a nightly cut off time for mobile device usage.  Have a designated place that phones, tablets and other devices are placed for charging and storage overnight, and a specified time that they can be accessed in the morning.  Buy a real alarm clock for your children so they aren’t using their phone.  This is a good rule for all family members.

5.  Stick to the 13 + age policy in place for most social networking sites.  Set up a family Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account that your children can manage, but ensure that you monitor the account, and insist on privacy settings that only allow for approved friends or followers.  Make sure that before allowing someone to follow you, you have checked their history to see the content they are posting.

You can access all of the notes from the sessions here.  Be on the lookout for more CyberSafe (eSmart) Parents Sessions this year.

We also had an article published in the Bulletin that highlighted our efforts in the eSmart realm.  Well done to the Year 8 students who were interviewed that day, as they were articulate and very knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities.  You can view the story here.

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Filtering and Security

How do I filter out all the ads and inappropriate content when my kids watch YouTube?

 You can try these links for more information …

How can I filter nasty websites, set time restrictions and make the internet as safe as possible?

K9 Web Protection is a free tool that will:

  • Block web sites in more than 70 categories, including pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware, phishing
  • Force SafeSearch on all major search engines
  • Set time restrictions to block web access during designated times
  • Configure custom lists for “always allow” and “always block”
  • Override a web page block with password
  • Trust the enhanced anti-tampering, even children can’t break
  • View easy reports to monitor and control web activity
  • Real-time categorization of new adult and malicious sites

The Parental Control Bar is a similar tool that controls access via a password.

Netbox Blue has a product called CyberSafeHouse that offers a paid version of this function.

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CAC’s CyberSafety Strategy

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.


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CyberSafety – Parent Helpers Needed

There was an interesting article Published in the Courier Mail last week and forwarded to me by Mr Jason Cooper.  The lead sentence stated that:

QUEENSLAND schools are struggling to contain an outbreak of malicious student-run gossip sites, with authorities shutting down at least one a day.

Education Queensland has employed the services of a former detective to investigate students’ Facebook sites and shut them down if they are negative, derogatory, defamatory or incite violence.  Teachers and principals are also being targeted in these sites, and the department is ‘aggressively’ hunting down those responsible.

Clinical psychologist Associate Professor Alan Ralph equated these groups to exclusive, secret societies whose members thank the activity is “not being monitored and that it’s a private conversation.  Parents feel like there’s nothing they can do and there’s an element of helplessness.”

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Australia’s pre-eminent child psychologist and cyber-bullying expert  coined the phrase “digital Dutch courage” when referring to such Facebook users.  “Because there’s no face-to-face stuff and there’s an illusion of anonymity, very nice kids will say and do things online that they would never do in real life.”

Sending a message of support to those being bullied, rather than confronting the cyberbully can be a positive action on behalf of innocent bystanders.  Joining, liking, supporting or not reporting such groups is tantamount to perpetrating the actual negativity that they promote.

Dr Carr-Gregg also ‘urged parents to restrict their children’s use of social networking sites and stop “out-sourcing responsibility for cyber-safety to schools”.’  At Coomera Anglican College,  we have been, and will continue to be proactive in getting across the message of Cybersafety in all its shapes and forms.  Currently in development is our own stand- alone Cybersafety Website that gathers all the best resources from the internet and sequences them into teaching strings for schools to use.  We also have a Cybersafety Cheat Sheet  available in this week’s newsletter.  Please have a look at this sheet as it shows you how you can keep a close eye on your child’s internet use so that they can stay safe and have positive experiences in a n online world.

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