Posts tagged ‘cybersafety’

Digital Citizenship

A guest post by Damian Wanstall (@wanstad73)**                                                        


Have you ever used the internet to comment on what you see online, share information about yourself or others, communicate with friends, play games, get material for an assignment or buy stuff online? If you answered YES to any of these then you are a digital citizen.

There is a wealth of information and resources – international, parent focussed and other useful sites – available to us as educators in the area of Digital Citizenship. 

 The Digital Citizenship website, which has been produced by CLI for the DER-NSW program brings together a comprehensive range of lessons, educational games, videos, as well as links to other useful sites, advice and assistance with teacher professional learning. Its focus is educating young people to be positive contributors in an online world, with an intended Year 10 audience. Parents and carers can also learn how they can support the positive use of social media by their children at home.


The best way to find out more about this program is to explore the website. A further set of websites have been tagged for those who may be interested in preparing a more focussed program within their school.

What courses, learning and policies are in place at your school to assist students and staff manage their digital footprints? Do they have students ‘practising’ good digital citizenship? What can you share here?

**Damian is a Learning Design Officer with the NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre. Damian has been a Mathematics educator for over 13 years and has a keen interest in improving teacher practice and the role of technology in enhancing teaching and learning.


Cybersafety and Digital Footprints


If you are looking for some inspiration and resources for cybersafety, from Year 7 -12, I highly recommend Jenny Luca‘s presentations here.

Jenny is the Head of Information Services at Toorak College, Mt.Eliza. She is @jennyluca on twitter, which she uses regularly to share and network with colleagues, nationally and internationally. I admire her work and ethos greatly!

The complex issue of cybersafety, digital footprints and citizenship is already an urgent, vexing educational challenge for schools. If you wish to know more about ‘data-mining’ check this post out to look at ‘how the internet sees you’.

What courses, learning and policies are in place at your school to assist students and staff manage their digital footprints? What can you share here?

How can the school help students to use social media safely?

Deputy principals regularly deal with conflicts that arise from misuse of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

There are countless useful sites about cybersafety and you are likely to already have many of these in your favourites, like CybersmartThe Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Click.

A great resource to assist your school with the important task of educating students to play safely in an online world is the Manager of the Department’s Web Filter Unit, Elaine Talbert‘s Delicious tags. Elaine has collected and tagged a wealth of sites, showing us how Delicious can be effectively employed.



The more informed and positive the whole community conversation at your school is, the more likely students are to become good digital citizens. It is important that students are not tarred as irresponsible and poor digital citizens in general conversation. This will only lead to more inappropriate usage. Most, of course, do the right thing.

A few ideas:

1. Talk positively about the ‘good digital citizenship’ of students at the school, especially of Year 10 who have the laptops, explaining what this actually means. If the school frames the conversation positively it allows misdemeanours to be the exception rather than the rule. Give the students real narratives of ‘how’ a peer dealt with a cybersafety issue, as this will assist others to ‘know’ what to do when a challenge arises in their online world.

2. Run parent information sessions that give positive strategies for managing student usage at home. Do not spread fear and anxiety but concrete strategies for cybersafety. For example, screens are best located in shared areas of the house not isolated in bedrooms.

3. Have a clear school policy on the actions and steps students and parents take to address issues of cyberbullying and regularly publish in the school newsletter and other forums.

4. Celebrate the students savvy use of technology whenever possible to build a positive atmosphere. Praise their sensible use of mobile devices.

5. Educate the staff about bluetooth, 3G access to the internet from mobile devices, social networking and the school’s policies.

There are many other strategies and ideas that you use at your school. Please share links and ideas by making a comment here at our blog.

For example, this teacher has made a useful blog post about their experiences, with useful links here.