Bravehearts online cyber-safety program CyberEcho has been acclaimed following a successful pilot in the lead-up to Safer
Internet Day today.
Echoing the slogan ‘what you share, will always be there’, the program highlights the pitfalls of sharing personal information online and encourages young people to think smarter about the kind of content they share.
Supported by Bravehearts cyber partner Google, the blended learning platform is tailored for children aged 9-12 and was piloted in schools throughout Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.
Available to all schools by the end of term one, it aims to provide children and parents with key strategies to keep them safe in the cyber world – equipping them with skills and knowledge to be used across a variety of applications and devices.
Bravehearts Education Manager Sharon Stewart, says a collaborative approach was required to ensure content was accessible, topical and relevant and delivered in an engaging and interactive way.
“Participation and constant feedback from Google, Australian Federal Police, Australian National Curriculum and student and teachers helped to inform part of the content development of what is a breakthrough program,” says Ms Stewart.
“Cyber safety is an ever evolving issue that is difficult to stay ahead of and Bravehearts is changing the way kids think by bridging the gap between parents and their children with an innovative resource.
“Incorporating lessons both offline and online in a learning management system allows for teacher-directed, interactive activities and online assessment that is individually managed by the schools and teachers.”
Former Head of Curriculum at Surfers Paradise State School Janet Tucker, says CyberEcho resonated with students and encouraged interactive learning.
“Kids really enjoyed the content and the process and got involved in the discussions,” she says.
“The staff also enjoyed planning it into their schedules and gained a lot of information about how the kids behave with technical devices and what they think about technology.”
New research from the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, in partnership with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, shows four in five young Australians use smartphones to connect to the internet wherever they go, while their use of WiFi hotspots has doubled since June 2011.
Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon says Safer Internet Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on these latest findings to remind the community about the importance of exploring safely online in an increasingly connected world.
“We know young people are going online now more than ever, and now, more than ever, we need to rise to the challenge of ensuring their online experiences are positive. The Office invites all Australians to partner with us in playing our part for a safer internet,’ says MacGibbon.
The new research further reveals 83 per cent of young people go online three or more times a day, indicating a strong trend that accessing the internet is becoming an increasingly common experience for the next generation.
CyberEcho is also available for schools unable to deliver content online but still want to address cyber safety with students. It is also available as a hard copy book which includes a printable workbook for students.
The program is aligned to the AU National Curriculum ICT and General Capabilities and Bravehearts is a certified provider of programs under The Office of the Children’s E-Safety Commissioner’s voluntary certification scheme for online program providers.
Need to talk to someone? Bravehearts is here to help: 1800 272 831