Technology provides us with quick and easy access to unlimited resources and information via access to the internet and web 2.0. Students, parents, teachers and community members can instantly access people, places and opportunities in a 21st century technological world. Unfortunately, as previously quoted by Postman, “What Technology giveth, technology taketh away.” So whilst we have constant access to people and resources, the down side is that they also have access to us at times we don’t like or perhaps even without our consent. Sadly, this places not only ourselves at risk but also our children/ students in danger of becoming victims of cyberbullying, predators and exposure to inappropriate information.
Twenty-first educators, parents and community members have a duty of care to encourage safe networking practices. The Australian government offers an online training package supporting safe networking practices for young children, teens, parents, schools and Indigenous people through offering interactive software which engages and educates Australians in cyber smart practices. Additionally, the Cyber[smart] website offers virtual classroom experiences, lesson plans on digital citizenship, and supporting resources for teachers to facilitate authentic, informed learning.
Whilst, these resources are important, it is further significant that that teacher’s undertake Professional Development targeting in-depth understanding of the issues. Connect.ed offers four online training modules that offer teachers the knowledge, confidence and resources to help students stay safe online.