The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s successful eSmart Schools program will be introduced in 180 Tasmanian schools over the next four years, thanks to a $630,000 commitment from the Hodgman Government announced today.
The program – which is presently in more than 2,300 Australian schools – is designed to help schools improve cyber safety and reduce cyber bullying and bullying.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta thanked Will Hodgman and his government for its decision to embrace eSmart, equipping Tasmanian students with the appropriate tools to be smart, safe and responsible online.
Ms Podesta encouraged more states and territories to follow Tasmania and fund the program in their own schools.
“The Hodgman Government is showing true leadership, recognising a serious need to educate students in the appropriate way to use technology,” Ms Podesta said.
“The purpose of eSmart is not to scare children away from using technology but to help them navigate it safely and competently.”
Ms Podesta also said it was important for the Foundation to have a strong connection with Tasmania, given its origins, which go back to the horrific Port Arthur tragedy in April 1996.
Tasmanian Minister for Education and Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff said as students started navigating the online world at a younger age it was important to ensure they are aware of the positives as well as the negatives.
“We need to equip them with the skills to benefit from the rich digital information available to them while avoiding any risks,” Mr Rockliff said.
“This partnership will see the Alannah & Madeline Foundation support Tasmanian Government schools to improve digital skills and cyber safety for students, and increase staff confidence in this area through the eSmart Schools program.”
A recent independent evaluation of eSmart Schools found that 98 per cent of principals recommended the program.
The evaluation also found that as a result of eSmart 85 per cent of teachers had incorporated new cyber safety practices, 84 per cent of schools had introduced or improved cyber safety and welfare policies and 80 per cent of schools had positively changed their school’s culture and behaviour.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation also runs eSmart Libraries and the eSmart Digital Licence, which is a fun and interactive quiz that teaches students how to navigate and use technology in a safe way.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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