Rate of [Cyber] Change

Today I attended an ACMA Cybersafety training day, with another Teacher Librarian from my school, and two other teachers from local schools. I had been to one of these days a few years ago, and we use the Cybersmart
Shame on the Internet -Magic City Fake Screenshot- by =thayCVB on deviantART

I should have known better – the technology evolves so quickly, and with it user behaviours, so naturally there has been a great deal of change in online activities since the last time I really spent any time considering it deeply.

Key points:

  • The ages at which children have access to the Internet gets younger and younger
  • Internet-enabled devices are being given to children at a much younger age – partly the hand-me-down effect
  • Stand-alone lessons do not stick
  • Need to embed safe attitudes and behaviours in all relevant lessons – just-in-time and explicit commentary. Example: when posting to a class blog, remind students no photos and first names only; bringing up current headlines and discussing what students could have/should have done; reminding students not to click on flashing ads or accept emails from people they don’t know.
  • Cookies tracking your search habits and geolocation services – be aware of what they mean for you
  • Social media – evolution of sites and apps – young people migration to more instant, more photo oriented tools
  • Targeting bystander behaviour is key to combating cyber bullying
  • Preventative measures – building resilience and self-managing behaviours
  • Involve students in developing their own resources around Cybersafety
  • Follow-up
    I will be looking at what I am doing to teach safe behaviours to years 3&4, and review the use of stand-alone lessons. I think that with these younger kids, it is still important to spend time establishing a good understanding of key concepts such as privacy of information, so that thereafter we can refer back to those understandings in relation to other activities.

    I think that my colleague and I should also look for some time to talk to staff about what we learned – if we were startled by some of the statistics, it is likely that they will be too!

    Lastly I want to ensure that we run a technology use survey once again, as we have done in the past, to get up-to-date data on what our students are doing with technology. This would be really valuable to complete before we hold some Cybersafety sessions for students, staff and parents later this year.

    So, to sum up – Cybersafety is an attitude and awareness, not a static list of facts about bad websites. The only way to help children and ourselves is to develop the necessary skills and mindset to be critical, sceptical and ethical users of technology

    Rate of [Cyber] Change

    Today I attended an ACMA Cybersafety training day, with another Teacher Librarian from my school, and two other teachers from local schools. I had been to one of these days a few years ago, and we use the Cybersmart
    Shame on the Internet -Magic City Fake Screenshot- by =thayCVB on deviantART

    I should have known better – the technology evolves so quickly, and with it user behaviours, so naturally there has been a great deal of change in online activities since the last time I really spent any time considering it deeply.

    Key points:

  • The ages at which children have access to the Internet gets younger and younger
  • Internet-enabled devices are being given to children at a much younger age – partly the hand-me-down effect
  • Stand-alone lessons do not stick
  • Need to embed safe attitudes and behaviours in all relevant lessons – just-in-time and explicit commentary. Example: when posting to a class blog, remind students no photos and first names only; bringing up current headlines and discussing what students could have/should have done; reminding students not to click on flashing ads or accept emails from people they don’t know.
  • Cookies tracking your search habits and geolocation services – be aware of what they mean for you
  • Social media – evolution of sites and apps – young people migration to more instant, more photo oriented tools
  • Targeting bystander behaviour is key to combating cyber bullying
  • Preventative measures – building resilience and self-managing behaviours
  • Involve students in developing their own resources around Cybersafety
  • Follow-up
    I will be looking at what I am doing to teach safe behaviours to years 3&4, and review the use of stand-alone lessons. I think that with these younger kids, it is still important to spend time establishing a good understanding of key concepts such as privacy of information, so that thereafter we can refer back to those understandings in relation to other activities.

    I think that my colleague and I should also look for some time to talk to staff about what we learned – if we were startled by some of the statistics, it is likely that they will be too!

    Lastly I want to ensure that we run a technology use survey once again, as we have done in the past, to get up-to-date data on what our students are doing with technology. This would be really valuable to complete before we hold some Cybersafety sessions for students, staff and parents later this year.

    So, to sum up – Cybersafety is an attitude and awareness, not a static list of facts about bad websites. The only way to help children and ourselves is to develop the necessary skills and mindset to be critical, sceptical and ethical users of technology

    Actual reading of books

    For my holiday reading I brought home The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n. Although I haven’t touched the second, this week I have been reading The Book Thief, and really enjoying it. Tyring to explain it to my curious son, I said that this book is set in Nazi Germany, is narrated by Death, and is about a fairly ordinary little girl who is fostered out to a poor family and who steals books from time to time, and that despite all these points, it is not depressing.

    Reading this book has reminded me of how satisfying it is to be absorbed by a tale, to live inside the words. So much of my reading now is snatches of info on computer screens, or flicking through the newspaper, or a chapter of a novel at (the children’s) bedtime. This reminds me that there was an article I read last year about how the internet is changing our reading habits. When I googled it (as you do) I discovered a Wikipeida article that turned out to be even more interesting than my recollection of the original article. Apparently the article sparked a furious debate across the blogosphere and intellectual fora, wherein journalists, writers, critics, educators and neuroscientists posited theories and some evidence (mostly anecdotal, due to the newness of the alleged phenomenon) on whether or not spending more time online in a hypertextual reading environment rewires our reading circuits so that sitting down to concentrate on a single piece of prose becomes harder and harder to do. I’m not quite ready to put forth my own opinion yet; I think that perhaps we haven’t quite identified all of the factors, because changes in the way that we timetable our lives, for instance, have an impact on how much uninterrupted time we have to devote to sustained reading, which is a social and cultural influence rather than exclusively technological.

    hmm. I’ll have to think about this one. Once I’ve read my emails.

    :>