The Alannah and Madeline Foundation recently launched their new initiative to help Australian primary school kids become safe, smart, responsible digital citizens, with the introduction of their e-smart digital licence.
This is a fantastic step forward for our kids in Grade 6 who are already well immersed in a world lived largely online.
Technology and portable devices are connecting kids in ways that have changed dramatically how they get information, how they are educated, entertained and how they socialise.
Initiatives such as a digital licence are a great way to reinforce and build on the lessons that must begin the moment a child picks up a device. This particular licence focuses on 8 key learning modules, such as privacy, social media, gaming and devices and will be frequently updated to keep pace with the advances in technology. Dr Judith Slocumbe, CEO of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, said there has been some fantastic feedback and they are constantly looking at new ways to help keep our kids safe and responsible online. Having had a play myself, I think it has certainly been developed with the aim of keeping kids interested whilst they are getting some great lessons. It is also really pleasing to see the push for kids to have the conversations with their parents.
But parents must be prepared to play their part. This is not something that can be left solely to the schools. We know the majority of kids behaviour stems from the teaching, the values and the guidance they receive at home. So when your child comes home to tell you about these programmes, be sure to participate with them. Get to know the technology, but more importantly, keep connecting and keep communicating with your child.
Programmes like this are vital for our children’s learning, to become familiar with the risks and to make the right choices. But it must be well supported from the home to ensure it is an ongoing process. It is not just about Do’s and Don’ts, but about a dynamic conversation based on perspective and understanding, that helps build the critical thinking they will need to carry them through. To help them make the best choices, when there is not always a right or wrong answer.
Teachers can access their free licences by heading to digitallicence.com.au
This Post Has 6 Comments
This is so important. Thanks Martine.
As a mother of very engaged Minecraft children – without facebook or kik or anything I am concerned.
A visiting child introduced them to kik and 15+ PS3 games – I vetoed the games.
Interesting and concerning was while staying at a recent motel – the kids were able to join on Minecraft worlds with another boy in another unit .They were able to share information and they arranged to meet (at the pool with parents). I don’t know how because the ipads weren’t on wifi.
The privacy issue is a big one.
Privacy can be tricky, especially when their understanding of what privacy means can be very different to ours.
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I totally agree that parents need to be more involved in their children’s online world to understand what they are doing, and why they are choosing to do it.
I purchased the digital licence for my eight year old and have been working through the quizzes with him, and his older sister, and I have found it a great to learn more about what they are doing online and to have a chat as a family about it.
That is the best part about these sorts of things, in that they encourage the conversations 🙂
What a great program! thanks for posting about it. My son is in his fist year of school so we are only just now starting to dabble into technology and a little clueless on how to remain protected while doing so!