The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s second annual National eSmart Week will take place next week – September 5 to 9.
The number of Australian schools and libraries registered for the event – which is supported by the Telstra Foundation – is on track to almost double last year’s 558 total. They have already been reporting on their activities and their eagerness to get involved in the week.
eSmart is a framework, developed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, which uses a cultural change approach to improve cyber safety, increase digital literacy and reduce cyber bullying across Australia.
There are presently more than 2,300 schools involved in eSmart Schools, almost half of Australian public libraries have implemented eSmart Libraries and more than 200,000 students have registered for the eSmart Digital Licence.
The purpose of National eSmart Week is to celebrate all three programs and the impact they have on people, particularly young people, across the country.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the entire eSmart community was excited about the week and some of the activities that were going to take place across the country. Ms Podesta said the feedback from schools and libraries had been extremely positive in lead up to the event, which she said was only expected to get bigger over the next few years as more Australians were acknowledging a greater need for online education.
She said the fact that having almost 1,000 schools and libraries register for the initiative was fantastic and encouraged those who were yet to sign up that they could still do so during the week.
“So much work is put into eSmart by schools, libraries and our staff every day,” Ms Podesta said. “The work everyone puts into make Australian smarter, safer and more responsible online, really does come to the fore during National eSmart Week as we witnessed last year.”
Foundation General Manager Programs Linda Barry said the Foundation’s eSmart staff were looking forward to the week as they could witness the success of all the hard work that both schools and libraries put into the framework throughout the year.
“It is our goal that every school and library in Australia will be involved in eSmart in the next few years,” Mrs Barry said. “Every day we see circumstances in the news where young people need guidance and education about the way to navigate the digital world.
“It is so important for the community not to fear technology but to be able to navigate it comfortably, safely and competently.”
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation works alongside the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.
For more information go to esmart.org.au/news-events/national-esmart-week.
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