A few weeks ago I attended a cybersafety seminar for year 11 students. The seminar was presented by former police officer Susan McLean of Cyber Safety Solutions.
She spoke about the following:
- Rightly or wrongly people will judge you based on your use of social media and the internet.
- Nothing can be totally deleted so students need to be aware of their digital footprint
- Passwords and using security settings are essential to managing your digital life
- Make sure your social media presence is positive
- Impact and consequences of cyberbullying
- Laws related to sexually explicit material
- Impact and consequences nude pictures sent as messages can have
- Predators and grooming
Susan expanded on these areas with anecdotes, examples and visuals. She used humour and the latest colloquial terms to engage the teenage audience. While the nasty side of the internet was addressed, Susan provided strategies that students could use to avoid, limit or take action with. I was pleased to see her focus on the importance of positive behaviour and action rather than dwelling on the negatives. She concluded by telling students to look after themselves online and to look after others too.
A one off seminar by a former police officer is far from ideal compared to a holistic school wide approach. Judging by questions raised by students at the end of the seminar at least Susan made an impression and had got them thinking. It concerns me that the cybersafety seminar ticks a box, it has been done for the year, and then is not followed up in any meaningful way.
I am Stronger video shown to students during the seminar
Retrieved from https://youtu.be/gkaxbaX1WAE