Understanding the cybersafety issues facing your school is vital so you can address the key requirements for digital citizenship.
From cyberbullying to copyright infringement, students and schools face a range of cybersafety challenges . Understand what the issues include and identify which you think your school community needs to address. Find out how your school benchmarks on these issues.
Computer security is a requirement for a cybersafe school. Teacher and student owned ICT have created new challenges in ensuring that devices are protected from malware, like viruses and spyware, as well as spam.
Protection is also provided by school policies that promote a cybersafe ICT environment. Such policies include use agreements, as well as clear and consistent application of policy to ICT-breaches.
While producing a secure and safe ICT environment is a critical step to cybersafety, it is not the only step required. The deregulated environment produced by ICT means that it is impossible to protect students from ALL challenging situations.
Cybersafe schools seek to ensure that all students are supported to manage challenge when they arise as well as being able to exercise digital citizenship to minimise challenge to others. This requires educators to support students to develop these values and competencies.
The production of cybersafety at school is enhanced when multiple stakeholders are engaged and empowered by the process. A whole school approach that involves all the stakeholders in the school community is most likely to produce cybersafety and support digital citizenship.
The whole school approach involves senior management, educators, school staff, the BOT, wh?nau and family, and most importantly, the students themselves.
The values and competencies of digital citizenship and cybersafety directly reference the NZ curriculum. As for other values and competencies in the curriculum, a mix of formal classroom programmes and “teachable moments” offers excellent opportunities to support students' cybersafety and digital citizenship.
NetSafe's MyLGP website provides a range of resources to support educators to model cybersafety and digital citizenship as well as directly engage learners on classroom programmes that promote cybersafety and digital citizenship.
Helping young people understand acceptable and ethical behaviour in collaborative, environments where they create, control and share their own content cannot be accomplished by a single set or rules. Policy and guidelines are a useful starting point, but ongoing discussion is vital to build the confidence of staff,students and the wider community.
Changes in technology are inevitable. Creating a cybersafe school requires ongoing leadership and engagement with the whole school community to keep pace with growing user confidence, new skill requirements and changing attitudes. Integrate digital citizenship goals into your school's annual and strategic plan.