26 September 2023

New characters to teach kids online safety

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Educators, parents and carers across the country now have more tools to help children develop their online safety skills with the Australian eSafety Commissioner unveiling new resources.

The Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant said the materials included classroom activities and teacher professional learning modules and activities to do at home with children aged five to eight years.

Ms Inman Grant said the package provided age-appropriate, curriculum-aligned resources to help prepare children for the increasing risk of exposure to online harms.

“Our research shows 81 per cent of parents with children aged two to five report their child is using the internet, so we have to start educating them at an early age,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Teachers, as well as parents and carers, can play a pivotal role in helping children develop digital skills to have positive, safe experiences online and develop good habits when using technology.”

She said the resources for parents and carers would help them have conversations with their children about online safety, and featured four fun bush characters, the ‘Mighty Heroes’ (pictured).

Ms Inman Grant said each character was armed with an online safety message, covering protecting personal information, being respectful, asking for help, and questioning online content.

“Developed with teachers, the package is aligned to the Best Practice Framework for Online Safety Education and the Australian Curriculum,” the Commissioner said.

“Free, self-paced, online professional learning modules for teachers include evidence-based advice and practical strategies for teaching online safety in the classroom,” she said.

“Teachers will receive a certificate to download on completion for Teacher Identified or Elective teacher professional learning hours.”

The eSafety’s resources for parents and carer can be accessed at this PS News link and classroom material at this link.

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