With almost three weeks to go until the second National eSmart Week, the number of schools and libraries registered has already eclipsed last year’s total.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation initiative will take place between September 5 and 9, with almost 700 communities registered – considerably higher than the 558 that took part during the week last year.
National eSmart Week, which is supported by the Telstra Foundation, celebrates the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s eSmart framework, which teaches Australians how to be smarter, safer and more responsible online. The week will include a range of activities and events, which schools, libraries and community organisations can run to celebrate their commitment to cyber safety.
Presently, eSmart Schools is in more than 2,300 Australian schools, eSmart Libraries is in almost half of Australian libraries and more than 200,000 students are registered for the interactive quiz the eSmart Digital Licence.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the big increase in the number of registered schools and libraries proved that cyber safety was an issue that people are talking about. It also demonstrated the impact and success the 2015 celebration had across Australian communities.
Ms Podesta said the eSmart framework was pivotal for educating people of all ages about cyber safety. She also said the ongoing dialogue between the Alannah & Madeline Foundation staff and schools and libraries made the framework a much more interactive and enjoyable experience.
“There’s no reason to say we can’t get close to 1,000 given the amazing response we’ve had from the community,” Ms Podesta said. “This initiative gives us the chance to promote important themes and messages by running engaging activities for young Australians.”
Foundation General Manager Programs Linda Barry said the purpose of the suite of eSmart programs was not to scare Australians away from using technology but to ensure they were able to use it safely and responsibly.
Mrs Barry said the Tasmanian Government’s 2016-17 budget decision to fund eSmart in 180 of its schools highlighted the confidence and strength of the framework.
“We really do want every Australian school and library to be using eSmart because we believe this is the best way to give Australians the best possible grounding in digital technology,” Mrs Barry said.
Telstra Foundation General Manager Jackie Coates said it was a privilege to be part of an initiative that does so much good work right across the country.
“The opportunities in an online world are endless – we are empowered to learn in new ways, communicate with the world, and take control of our health, finances and beyond,” Ms Coates said.
“But it’s important that everyone is able to do so safely – the eSmart program does exactly that. eSmart is a world leading system designed to help all Australians maximise the benefits that come with digital technology, while staying safe online.”
For information or to register for National eSmart Week go to www.esmart.org.au/esmartweek.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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