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