Student-Led "eSmart" Committee: Our Students Guiding Our Students to be Safe, Responsible and Respectful Online Users.

comments Commentstotal2
In many schools, it is the teachers who decide what the school's Cybersafety/eSmart Curriculum and activities look like. When you add the element of keeping parents involved in the conversation and assisting the school with what parents suggest, then you have a pretty good Cybersafety Curriculum set up............But, it can get better. The next step that needs to be taken (and the step that Taroona High is taking this year) is to put faith in the students and let them 'have a say' in what the Cybersafety Curriculum should look like in the school. It is their world and they know what the scenarios/situations look like in their lives today. Without a 'student voice', the school is missing out on some valuable information, ideas and opportunities in how to educate their students around safe practice whilst online. The 3 elements (parents, staff and students) all need to be incorporated into the school Cybersafety plan/program. Please note: to assist us with this idea, the school is gaining wonderful support and resources from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation,and we are looking to gain accreditation in the eSmart program that this Foundation offers to schools. The following is a snapshot as to how Taroona High is implementing a student led cybersafety committee this year. This blog posting will be updated throughout the year as the Committee becomes more established. We will keep you informed of the wonderful work and progress that our Committee is achieving. Scott MacCrum (Head of ICT) advertised the Committee idea to the students in the Daily Bulletin for a week. The Committee was advertised to all Grades. This will deliberate in that we wanted 3 students from each Grade to sit on the Committee. This, as you will read later, enables a 'distributed leadership' model/approach to be put into practice in the school, with the Committee members of each Grade supporting and leading their respective Grade cohort around Cybersafety and being safe, respectful and responsible online users. We had 10 students from across Grades 7-10 who volunteered to be a part of the Committee. We held a lunchtime meeting and we met each other. Permission letters were given to students (attached to this blog) to take home and give to their parents to be part of the Committee. The next half an hour was spent throwing around ideas about what our campaign was going to include. Students shared their stories and their beliefs and everyone in the group had a chance to talk. We have started the ball rolling!

What is the Committee going to do? This group will work together to devise, and run, activities and events that will promote safe, respectful and responsible use online with our school community. The students will be mentored by Scott Maccrum (Head of ICT) at the school. Initially, the group will explore the Cybersafety resources that Scott finds for them(accept/reject according to whether their peers would be engaged by them) and, simultaneously, they will look for their own resources that they think are fit for their Grade of students to learn from. Students will meet regularly and formulate ideas on how to educate our students in the area of cybersafety. Students will present their cybersafety ideas/tips/suggestions/findings to the school in a range of ways: whole school assembly, Grade assembly, posters around school walls, an event later in the year to raise awareness, guest speakers into the school, bystander apathy education, a whole school “Brave” acronym activity (where all Home Groups write their own BRAVE acronym relating to being eSmart and then the whole school looks at the results together in an assembly; showing the "Our School is BRAVE" idea)Please Note: this "BRAVE" acronym whole school activity could be achieve with another emotive word if desired instead). And, judging by early meetings, this Committee may very well come up with more ideas as we get going!! The Committee aims to develop Cybersafety lesson plans for their respective Grade teachers to use in their classrooms across all 4 Grades and they want to create a major film starring our committee members that will highlight cybersafety and safe practice. In effect, the students will aim to support the teachers with Cybersafety lesson ideas. This is a very innovative idea/concept. This concept/idea emphasises the important of giving our Taroona High students a ‘voice’ in how cybersafety is taught/delivered to their peers. There is little interference from the staff (except for mentoring by staff around sensitivity of activities and resources) and parents and our students are placed in the position whereby they can make the decisions. For any cybersafety program to be successful in a school setting, there needs to be input and support from staff, parents and students. This idea/concept is just one element of our school’s Cybersafety plan; the ‘student’ element. We believe it will work at our school. We will keep you posted. Has any other schools implemented a similar approach in their school that we might be able to share ideas with and support each other?

Thanks all Scott MacCrum

Pictures and videos


Comments (2)

Sign in to view or post comments
Why do I need to sign in? Microsoft respects your privacy. A global community, the Microsoft Educator Network asks you to sign in to participate in discussions, access free technology tools, download thousands of learning activities, take online learning or connect with colleagues.