Somerset Times

Once Upon a Time … Online

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 8, Term Three, 2019

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Picture books and fairy tales have throughout time provided great messages to young children and as part of eSmart week we’ve been using both to help deliver our messages around being safe, smart and responsible online. In the older years, whilst it might have been delivered in different formats, the message of being safe, smart and responsible remains the same.

For our Year 1s, The Fabulous Friend Machine, by Nick Bland of the Very Cranky Bear series fame, explored important messages about face to face friends and face-to-face interactions, as well as being a cautionary tale of never talking to people that you’ve only met online and certainly never arranging to meet them face-to-face. In true picture book fashion, they turned out to be wolves.

Once Upon a Time…Online, by David Bedford, was a great way to discover the ups and downs of going online with all of our favourite fairy tale characters, told in a way that some of our youngest students could easily relate to. While Cinderella got a large bill from her online shopping, “…Red Riding Hood, busy watching her screen, walked into some brambles that she should have seen!” “Then the Three Pigs got bored and started complaining that life was too dull when the Wolf was just gaming.”

Meanwhile with our Year 7s, we’ve been unpacking a tale told through a short film format of just how the wrong decisions online can see lives changed forever. For our Year 7 students, life got a little more serious as they explored how some choices made online, could see some student’s lives change – and not for the better. The award-winning short film from the eSafety Commission, Tagged, explored a range of online behaviours that had legal ramifications for some and fractured a group of friends. The film also showed how standing by and doing nothing, saw others that were involved, still held responsible. Our Year 7s discussed the important concept of being an upstander in their classes this week and what forms this could take.

Our Year 6 students have been continuing to work on completing their Digital License, with weekly sessions and quizzes on their knowledge gained. Our recent focus has been on safe communication online, on being a balanced and knowledgeable user of technology and on kindness and respect being the cornerstones in all our online communications and interactions.

For parents and students, we’ve curated a range of eSmart resources in our eSafety Info Guide in Schoolbox, from where to go to report offensive content to how to evaluate new social media apps and worthwhile discussion topics around the use of technology and its impact in our lives. One of our key messages is around balance. We encourage you to take up the conversation at home. eSmart sessions will continue over the next few weeks in the Junior School with each year level with a summary posted on year level communication pages.

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