Do you think it is adequate? Do you know the sorts of things they will cover?
The federal Government has realised the importance of children being responsible digital citizens and McAfees and Life Education have joined forces to bring to Australian primary schools a module to help make this a reality. The bcyberwise module is currently at around 3000 schools. Hopefully if not this one, then your school is doing something to help kids learn the skills they need to be responsible digital citizens.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to Sydney to hear about the programme and what sorts of information it covers.
I loved that it focuses on the importance of recognising the many great benefits of technology to our kids, both emotionally. socially and educationally. Like anything though, there is a downside, and these are readily published and talked about. Preventing them however, often seems a little harder to do.
One area that the programme focuses on, is the importance of teaching our kids the social and emotional skills needed to safely navigate the online world. These help ensure connections online are safe, that privacy of ourselves and others are respected, that our digital footprint remains intact and that our physical and mental health and safety is always a priority.
These skills are outlined as
friendliness, empathy, respect and acceptance
self respect, impulse control, anger management
making friends, conflict resolutions and cooperation
such as consequential thinking and perspective talking
All these skills I believe are essential for resilience both online and in real life.
This is a great initiative but I think to ensure the best outcomes, it must be complemented with the teaching of these skills in the family home. Whilst most people would be doing this consciously or not in their natural parenting, I think due to the transparent nature of the online world, it is something that probably needs even more effort today than ever before.
The earlier these skills can be nurtured and encouraged the better chance we have of sustaining those skills throughout adolescence and transferring them between the offline and online worlds.
Do you think that it should be schools responsibility to teach cyber safety? Or is it something we as parents must be thinking about from the beginning of their childhood to be used in conjunction with adequate programmes as part of the curriculum?