Cybersmart – Empowering Children to be Safe Online


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Suzanne Shipard, AMCA, Presentation to 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights

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  • The Cybersmart program is run by the ACMA as part of the Australian government’s commitment to cybersafety. It aims to build digital citizenship skills toensure thatchildren’s online experiences are safe and positive. When my colleagues and I started developing cybersafety resources thirteen years ago, it really was a different world. Australian children usually began accessing the internet on a PC in the family study or living room in their late primary to early secondary years. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter did not exist and were five to seven years away from being launched. How quickly times have changed. These days many children will go online on their parents’ smartphones as young as one or two. They may have a digital identity even before they are born and be playing massively multi-player online games and keeping in touch with their friends online by the age of 10. In a few minutes I’m going to show you one of our new videos that illustrates how a person’s digital footprint can build over their lifetime. It is a scenario that wouldn’t have existed five years ago and I think it demonstrates how it is more important than ever to build digital citizenship skills from a very young age.Cybersmart is one of many programs that seeks to build these skills in Australia. The ACMA doesn’t try to cover the field. We prefer to work closely with key national and international stakeholders in education and child protection to improve consistency and audience reach of cybersafety messages. This includes working with: Prominent not for profit organisations, such as the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which has co-oordinated this session Federal Government agencies, including the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Australian Federal Police and the Office of the Australian Information Commission Schools,State governmenteducation departments and universities;Commercial providers of services, such as Telstra, Yahoo, Google and facebook; and International partners such as ChildNet International in the UK and Netsafe in NZIn February we partnered with over 20 organisations to co-ordinate Australian participation in Safer Internet Day. We have approximately 20 staff working in our Sydney and Melbourne offices who develop programs and run our Outreach activities. We also have 7 trainers who travel around Australia to deliver face-to-face presentations to parents, teachers and young people.
  • And now for the video. Its called Digital DNA and goes for about 4 minutes. Our trainers have recently started showing it to parents, teachers and children in the Cybersmart face-to-face presentations.
  • I hope you enjoyed that.Now a bit about our programs and how they are developed and delivered. Our brief is to educate, inform, empower and engage young people and their teachers and carers to increase their skills and confidence to handle the risks associated with online activity. We do this in a number of ways. Over time, we’ve learnt that there is no perfect channel forcybersafety education. Different approaches and messages need to be delivered according to the needs of identified target groups.We think that the most effective online awareness and education programs are those which are: * ‘research based’ – where program design is informed and guided by reputable research, which aims to identify specific problems or areas of risk.* ‘multi-faceted’ – that is, comprised of multiple elements, with developmental underpinnings aimed at developing positive behaviours* ‘joined-up’ - where programs are connected with related education and awareness activities run by other organisations, be they government, not for profit or commercial organisations; and* ‘strategically targeted’ – where programs are targeted towards issues and particular groups where they can have the greatest impact. In recent years we have also added ‘evaluated’, that is ensuring programs continue to hit the mark with their target audiences.It won’t be news to anyone here that the nature of online risks mean that cyber education is evolving quickly. We believe that ongoing research is necessary to understand people’s changing behaviour online. In 2009 the ACMA’sClick and Connect Report examined Young people’s use of online social networking, including how , when and why they encounter online risks. In 2012 we updated this research and my colleagues, Rosalie O’Neale and Matthew Dobson will be presenting on the key findings in a session tomorrow afternoon.We also think that building in evaluation of programs at the outset is optimal to ensure that cybersafety education initiatives are effective. We need to be sure that we are putting our limited resources into programs that resonate and are most likely to lead to positive changes in behaviour.
  • We use a number of channels to communicate with our target audiences. Each term, our expert trainers go into primary and secondary schools around the country to give face to face presentations to students, teachers and parents. These seminars are free and very popular. They provide up to date information on the services that children are using and the issues they are facing. In February, for Safer Internet Day, we used Department of Education video conferencing to provide the seminars to over 26,000 students in schools in Victoria and Queensland. Our trainers also provide full day accredited professional development courses for educators and go into universities to give tutorials and seminars to pre-service teachers who are about to go into schools. We offer online professional development courses for teachers that they can complete in modules at their own pace. We also provide real time moderated interactive learning activities to help students identify risks and choose appropriate responses. On Safer Internet Day this year, over 1,500 students participated in our Cybersmart Challenge activities. Students, teachers and parents have access to a wide range of teaching and learning resources through our Cybersmart website. There are games, You Tube videos, blog posts from experts in child development and technology issues There is a facebook site specifically targeting teens We tweet and retweet information we think is relevant and helpful We also have a electronic newsletter on cybersafety issues that is published regularly
  • This is a screen shot of the Cybersmart website.The website was created as a ‘single access point’ for schools, teachers, children, students, parents, library staff and stakeholders to access research-based information, resources, materials and advice. It went through a major refresh last year. The website forms a key part of the ACMA’s cybersafety program with users able to download information and brochures, access audio-visual material, order bulk quantities of materials for school use, or report abuse or inappropriate content. The website has had over 2 million discrete hits & 11.2 million page views to date, and traffic to the site continues to increase – it grew by 20 % in the last financial year.
  • The Schools Gateway is a dedicated section for schools, teachers and educators.It houses a wide range of cybersafety information and teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. These accessible and engaging materials are designed to help schools develop and implement an holistic approach to cybersafety. There are links to state education department and independent school system policies, procedures and guidelines; teacher resources; information about what children do online, also available in video format; technology guides and the latest research. The Teacher resources aim to support cybersafety education. All resources are supported by units of work and Cybersmart multimedia and are availablefree of charge. Most Cybersmart lesson plans are available under a Creative Commonslicence which enable teachers to change, translate and share new creations with other teachers and students. Learning pathways are provided to help teachers find relevant resources for their year level, including Units of Work covering general cybersafety, cyberbullying and sexting. The Schools Gateway can also be used to book face-to-face presentations and professional development courses.
  • Cybersmart offers four streams of outreach programs for students, parents and teachers, all of which are provided free of charge. Thegeneral internet safety awareness presentations for parents, students and teachers. Each presentation is approximately 60 minutes excluding question time. These presentations are easy to understand, thorough, non-technical and informative. The accredited Cybersafety Outreach—Professional Development for Educators program, available as a full or half day, seminar, provides teachers with a comprehensive understanding of a modern student's technology profile, digital literacy, positive online behaviour, personal and peer safety and the school's and teachers' legal obligations to minimise and address risks. Schools have a choice of which topics they would like to focus on. The ACMA has run over 500 Cybersafety Professional Development workshops with more than 11,700 teachers from all over Australia attending. Ninety-nine per cent of attendees continue to rate the Professional Development workshop as either excellent or very good. ThePre-Service Teacher program is aimed at equipping pre-service teachers in universities with skills, knowledge and confidence to educate their future students about cybersafetySince 2009, more than 670,000 teachers, students, parents andstakeholders have attended our face-to-face presentations. In 2011, the ACMA commissioned GIER to independently evaluate the Cybersmart Outreach presentations as part of its commitment to the ongoing quality and relevance of the program. GIER reported that - Students said they had learnt significant new information. Many reported taking specific actions such as changing privacy settings, limiting personal information displayed on social networking sites and blocking users.Teachers reported that they learnt new information and believed the Cybersmart Outreach workshops had equipped them to better deal with their students’ cybersafety concerns.  Parents/carers reported that they felt less fearful and more confident about their children’s online interactions as a result of attending an Internet Safety Awareness presentation.  Based on feedback from teachers, parents, students and our trainers in the field, Cybersmart Outreach has now refreshed and improved the presentations.  We also offer online learning programs for those people who find it hard to get to face-to-face presentation.Connect.ed is a self-paced online Cybersmart education program that is available to all primary and secondary school teachers throughout Australia, including casual relief teachers and support staff. Learning activities include issue-based simulations that replicate a student’s experience in social networking sites; video interviews with experts in the field and attitudinal surveys and interactive case studies that prompt teacher self-reflection.It’s in demand with more than 6,300 educators having commenced the online professional development program to date.
  • The Cybersmart Challenge activities are real time interactive learning experiences for children in upper primary and lower secondary school. They have proved very popular with multiple schools able to participate in each activity. Over [40,000] students have participated in these activities to date.Students work in small teams in front of a computer and assisted by their teacher and expert online guides. A hypothetical story unfolds gradually on the screen and the students are asked to put themselves in the shoes of one of the characters. The students then type in comments and suggestions for how the character should respond to what is happening. There are currently 3 activities: Cybersmart Detectives –which deals with general online safety issues including the need to protect personal information online and the dangers of online groomingCybersmart Hero –which deals with cyberbullying and encourages bystanders to stand up and speak out for the person being bulliedCybersmart Networking – which encourages students to think about how to be safe when engaged in online social networking Our oldest Challenge activity, Cybersmart Detectives, was recently refreshed following an independent evaluation by Edith Cowan University. The evaluation identified where the activity was having the most impact (which was on students who were most vulnerable and and at greatest risk for negative and inappropriate interactions online). It suggested areas to improve the educational experience for both students and teachers and the design was enhanced accordingly.
  • On the website there are specific landing pages for young kids, kids, teens, parents, schools and libraries.As we know, kids are going online at younger and younger ages. In October 2012 we launched Zippep’sAstro Circus, a new resource for younger internet users. The core age range is 5 – 7 years, but it can also be used by younger users.The intention is that children will use this with their parents or teachers, so that it can start conversations about internet use.The theme is a circus and the characters are a colourful array of animals and performers who lead children in a range of activities set in a big top. On completion of each activity, children will get a prize that they can print out and use offline – like some drawings for colouring in, or large posters of the characters they can display.
  • This is a screen shot of our Kids landing page. It links to resources such as quizzes, videos and tips for primary school aged children. The aim is for children to learn while they have fun and to develop skills to recognise potential adverse behaviours, such as bullying. Ideally, we want them to feel confident approaching an adult if they come into contact with problematic content or behaviour and to stand up for others, if they can.
  • Here is our teens page on the Cybersmart website.As you might expect, teens can be a difficult audience to reach. For that reason, we are trying a some new approaches to appeal to this audience. We have found that audio-visual material, such as short films and light-hearted apps can be very effective in communicating cybersafety messages. We try to engage with this audience on the platforms they are using themselves, such as facebook and we like to keep the conversation flowing both ways. As accomplished users of technology, teens have a lot of knowledge and expertise they can share with eachother, us, their siblings, their parents and their grandparents.
  • We have a range of online and video resources for students in secondary school: NetBasics is a series of 11 short animated episodes that follow the online experiences of the Jones family. Targeted at middle school students (aged 12 -15 yearsold), NetBasicsreinforces the foundations of online security and covers important cyber security topics such as online shopping, online trickery, online banking and the importance of installing and updating security software.CyberNetrix is a computer-based activity designed for secondary students from Years 7 to 9 as a cross-curricula, cross-year-level resource. There is a teacher guide and 11 downloadable student activities.Students determine the safety issues that pertain to them, sharing these ideas with their classmates, understanding their use of technologies and their own behaviours, and developing a collective class approach to highlight safe behaviours for themselves and their peers. Cybersmart Access is a set of four fun games designed to reinforce key cybersafety messages to children with special education needs. It is designed for use within specialist schools but can also be enjoyed by all students regardless of their abilities. Let’s Fight It Together is a comprehensive teaching resource on cyberbullying based around a seven minute video. It includes a user guide with lesson plans for teachers and tips for parents and carers. The video depicts the story of a teenager who becomes the target of bullying via the internet and his mobile phone.
  • Tagged is feature film targeted at teens. In 2012 it won the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) award for best secondary education resource, a silver medal at the New York Festival’s International Film and Television Awards, a gold award and grand award at the World Media Festival in Hamburg. It is now being used to promote cybersafety in many countries, including Australia and New Zealand. It goes for about 18 minutes so I won’t show it today but if you’re interested, it is available on the Cybersmart website and YouTube. At last count it had over 107,000 views on YouTube alone.In the film, a group of high-school friends post a rumour about a rival which sparks a chain reaction that leaves no one untouched. Cyberbullying, sexting, filmed fights and police action ensue. The film explores important themes of personal safety and responsibility, resisting peer group pressure and protecting your digital reputation.Tagged is recommended for use with students aged 14 and over. It can be used as a stand-alone resource or as part of the school curriculum. It is supported by lesson plans and compelling character reflection interviews. Other supporting resources include “Facts for Teenagers”, a “Guide for Parents” and “Resources for Schools”. It’s been our most popular video with over 160,000 downloads from You Tube to date and over DVDs distributed. In 2012 we commissioned an independent evaluation of Tagged that found that the film resonated strongly with its target audience. Respondents reported that the film did make them think more carefully about what they said and posted online. The Tagged evaluation will be published later this month.
  • Last October we launched a Facebook page which is intended to directly appeal to teenagers.It’s based on the theme of ‘The Cloud’, and we have used it to release some short, humorous content to encourage young people to think about cybersafety. This includes a series of 6 videos based on the concept of dreams. The videos play on the type of bad dream you might have - for example, rushing to get to school and realising you’ve forgotten to get dressed - to encourage people not to release too much personal information online. ]. I am going to show you one of the most popular videos [Perhaps show the schoolies video]We’re also used it to promote some other organisations material – for example videos from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s BackMeUp campaign against cyberbullying.Our aim is to set up a platform for engagement with Australian teens that we hope people will want to come back to.
  • Last year the ACMA commissioned some short videos for teens that we launched on our Cybersmartfacebook site. This one’s called ‘The Interview’ and it was heavily promoted during Schoolies week last year. For the benefit of international guests, Schoolies week is when many Australian students in Year 12 celebrate the end of their high school education often by partying with their friends at holiday destinations.
  • The ACMA also provides specificresources for parents to help them guide their children on cybersafety issues. This is a screen shot of the Parents page from the Cybersmart website.
  • Cybersmart has some excellent hard copy resources available for parents, children, young people, teachers, educators, pre-service teachers and library staff. These include posters, brochures, postcards, badges, slap bands and fridge magnets Materials have been designed for various age groups and skill levels. Cybersmart materials are updated and refreshed on a regular basis to ensure currency of information. They all promote key cybersafety messages and are available free of charge. There is a set of brochures available dealing with important cybersafety topics like cyberbullying, safe social networking, offensive content, mobile phone safety and sexting. Resources can be ordered online or can be downloaded from the Cybersmart website. They are also available in Italian, Vietnamese, Greek, Arabic and Chinese. More than 4.7 million brochures and other hard copy materials have been distributed to date.
  • The ACMA recognises that sometimes people will need to take action in relation to a specific issue. There are several ways in which we facilitate this.If you see content which is offensive or illegal you can make a report to the ACMA. My colleagues, Jeremy Fenton and Rosalie O’Neale will be providing further information about this service at a session tomorrow afternoon.Cybersmart Help provides practical information and helpful advice about cybersafety matters. It also assists with processing orders for the ACMA’s range of cybersafety resources designed for teachers, parents, children and library staff. These resources are provided free of charge in Australia. If something has happened to a child online that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared or sad, Cybersmart, through our external provider, theKids Helpline, will provide them with free and private advice online.Children can click on the Kids Helpline button to talk to a counsellor about anything happening online that worries them, like cyberbullying, seeing unpleasant or offensive content, or keeping a balance between their online and offline life.
  • That’s it from me. Thank you very much for choosing to come along to this session.I hope you have found my presentation useful and that you will come along to some of my ACMA colleagues’ sessions tomorrow afternoon. Also, please take the time to look at some of our resources. A couple of our brochures are available in your congress satchels and the other resources are accessible from our website, including links to the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.
  • Cybersmart – Empowering Children to be Safe Online

    1. 1. Cybersmart – Empowering Children to beSafe OnlineSuzanne ShipardPrincipal Adviser, Cybersmart
    2. 2. > Australian Government funded program delivered by the ACMA> Key audiences: children and young people, parents, teachers/educators, pre-service teachers and library staff> Our focus— Program development: online and offline resources Outreach: face-to-face information & online training to students, parents and teachers across Australia. 2
    3. 3. Digital DNA video 3
    4. 4. The ACMA cybersafety overview and servicesEducate Information & advice services Empower Research Young Parent resources people Parents Counselling services Educators Professional development Resources for young people programsInform Teaching resources Engage 4
    5. 5. How we reach out?> Face -to face seminars> Online and interactive learning> Cybersmart website & blog> Twitter> Facebook> YouTube> Cyberzine 5
    6. 6. The Cybersmart website 6
    7. 7. Schools Gateway 7
    8. 8. Cybersmart Outreach programs > Internet Safety Awareness Presentations > Professional Development Workshops > Pre-service teacher training > Online learning modules 8
    9. 9. Cybersmart Challenge 9
    10. 10. Young kids 10
    11. 11. Kids 11
    12. 12. Teens 12
    13. 13. Secondary School resources 13
    14. 14. Tagged – a short film> Tagged is a video resource for teens dealing with issues of cyberbullying, sexting and digital reputation. 14
    15. 15. The Cloud – facebook page 15
    16. 16. The interviewfacebook video 16
    17. 17. Parents 17
    18. 18. Hard copy resources> for parents, children, libraries and teachers> for differing ages and skill levels> regular updates> promotes key cybersafety messages> free 18
    19. 19. Cybersafety help > Reporting offensive content to the ACMA hotline> Cybersmart Online Helpline for kids and teens> Cybersmart Help> 1800 880 176 19
    20. 20. THANK