East Loddon P-12 College has taken a top cyber safety prize, and been named as winner of the National eSmart Week competition for 2015.
National eSmart Week, an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, aims to encourage digital literacy and address the alarming statistic that one in five young Australians suffer from cyber bullying.
The northwestern Victorian school participated in the inaugural National eSmart Week – held between 7 and 11 September, 2015 – which included more than 500 schools and libraries across Australia. During the week East Loddon P-12 College students and teachers participated in a number of activities such as standing together to form a huge ‘e’ on the oval during Monday lunchtime, while holding helium balloons in the purple and gold colours of the eSmart logo.
The students released the balloons with their eSmart messages attached into the strong westerly wind which took them towards Dingee. But some of them end up heading as far north as southern New South Wales. The students created a digital document of their cyber safety community action through video and photographs. Grade 6 students also completed the eSmart Digital Licence Cyber Safety Challenge, which is an abbreviated version of the full eight-module eSmart Digital Licence and equips Australian school children with critical knowledge to learn, play and socialise online.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation CEO Dr Judith Slocombe said the response from schools and libraries during the first National eSmart Week was outstanding. Dr Slocombe congratulated East Loddon P-12 College and thanked every participating Australian community for the commitment to making Australia safer, smarter and more responsible online.
“East Loddon P-12 College showed that it was focused on ensuring its students and their parents were serious about cyber safety and demonstrates our message is getting through,” Dr Slocombe said. “Our first National eSmart Week was a resounding success and we hope it continues to grow in the years to come.” East Loddon Assistant Principal Scott Wilkinson said National eSmart Week was a great initiative for both students and teachers to help promote the importance of cyber safety. Mr Wilkinson also said the school was lucky enough to have the ‘e’ formation filmed by a local man who used a drone to capture a bird’s-eye view.
“Many of our students are quite isolated as they live on farms, so for them to use social media is really important just to have that social contact,” Mr Wilkinson said. “But it is so important to make sure they know how to be safe online while also educating parents about being smart, safe and responsible online.”
For more information go to esmart.org.au.
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