IT report – April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015

Cybersmart Outreach Program

As part of its Cybersmart Outreach program, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), delivers free internet safety awareness presentations for parents, teachers and students. These presentations provide valuable information about the risks confronting children online, and offer tools and tips to help make their internet experiences safe and positive.

St Patrick’s have been lucky enough to secure the Cybersmart Outreach team to come to the College on June 1 where they will present to staff, students and parents. The parent presentation will take place at 7:00 pm in the Old Boys Pavilion so please mark that in your calendar. More information on this presentation will be distributed in the coming weeks.

The Cybersmart Internet safety presentations cover topics including:

-·- – – the ways children use the internet and emerging technologies

-·- – – potential risks for children online, such as cyber bullying, illegal content, inappropriate contact, identity theft, grooming and predatory activity

-·- – – tips to help children stay safe online.

The presentations are thorough, non-technical and will be conducted by an accredited Cybersmart trainer. This is a fantastic opportunity for the St Patrick’s community to hear form the experts on all issues regarding to cyber safety. All are welcome and I look forward to seeing you there.

Cyber Bullying

One the topics that will be discussed at the Cybersmart parent meeting and one of the most concerning online issues for the whole community is cyber bullying. This topic was recently discussed on the Tony Delroy Nightlife ABC radio program with guests Judy Fallon from the Allanah & Madeline eSmart programme and Rosie Thomas from Project Rockit (a youth driven movement against bullying and cyber bullying).

We are all aware of the dangers of bullying and as Rosie Thomas states -bullying extinguishes potential and smothers development-. With the advent of the online world, bullying has moved from 1 on 1 in the playground to a 24/7 problem, which can be repetitive and ongoing, can go viral, hurts self-esteem and resilience. While once upon a time children could leave bullying behind at the school gate it now follows them in the cyber world.

One of the interesting things that came out of this discussion is that most cyber bullying occurs outside of school hours and much of it at home and that we as parents can play a large role in educating our children how to use social media in a responsible manner.

Judy Fallon mentioned that our children are leaving Facebook in droves because many of us parents also use the medium and that our children are more likely to use social network sites uncharted by adults and parents. Judy also stated that while we as parents cannot be experts on all social media platforms it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of the most popular ones. It also a good idea to have that conversation with our children and learn what platforms they are using. Most of our children are using maybe 2 or 3 different social media platforms including Facebbok, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. To learn more about the most popular social networking sites there is an excellent resource put together by the Cybersmart team called -The Easy Guide to Socialising Online-. I have added a link to this site on our iPads Parent Support page here:-

Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice to come out of the discussion was how important it is for us as parents to have open and non-judgemental conversations with our children ahead of time before things happen.

The podcast of this March 16 discussion can be found on the ABC Nightlife website here:

Mark Holland

Director of ICT