Students Getting Cyberwise to Become Safe and Responsible Digital Citizens

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Robert Siciliano

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveils the new cyber education module, which was developed in partnership with McAfee and Life Education Australia.

This module expands the Life Education Program that is for primary school children across Australia.

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A study called “The Secret Life of Teens 2012 report,” (conducted by TNS Research and commissioned by McAfee) shows an alarming 62% of teens have had a negative experience on a social network and 25% said they had been the victim of cyber bullying. bCyberwise is a program designed to help close that gap. The evidence for developing this program was numerous, but some key points are:

Digital media has become a significant and predominantly positive aspect of the education, leisure and social lives of most of today’s children and young people.

The use of digital media also poses some risks to the safety and well being of children and young people. The most harmful of these appears to be cyber bullying

Other contact risks include exploitive communication, sexting, impersonation, humiliation via doctored images, under-age enrollment on social media sites, and exposure to material that is inappropriate, misleading, unacceptable or illegal

Children and young people need opportunities to learn the skills and values that will enable them to be safe online and become good digital citizens

The middle and upper primary years of schooling represent a sensitive and timely period for introducing students to these skills and values

McAfee and Life Education’s new program content will support the class teacher in this regard, providing an opportunity for young students to learn and practice a set of relevant skills and values (technical, thinking, emotional and social) that are fundamental to the promotion of cyber safety and positive cyber citizenship.

The hope is that being “safe and responsible digital citizens” will hopefully be a part of these students’ lives as they grow up. More info can be found at www.mcafeecybered.com

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee.  Disclosures.

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