The Rudd Government’s Cybersmart education program for school children was boosted today with the launch of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) new Cybersmart Web site.
Cybersmart.gov.au consists of a number of resources for teachers, parents and students, including guides to assist schools in addressing cyber safety issues, information about how children of different ages engage with online technologies, advice for parents and safe social networking for teens.
ACMA acting chairman Chris Cheah, said Cybersmart is about empowering Australian children to be smart online and to become good digital citizens.
“Understanding how to navigate the online world safely is an important element in the development of digital literacy,” Cheah said.
“By providing teachers and parents with clear, current and credible information about cyber safety, we assist them to develop in young people, the critical skills needed to stay safe online and get the most from their online encounters.”
The Web site was developed with the assistance of ACMA commissioned research, the results of which were released last week, that found an ongoing need for cyber safety material that resonates with children.
Last week, children’s rights groups appealed to the Government to drop its controversial plans for a mandatory Internet filter, saying the focus should instead be on supporting the education of children on how to use the internet safely.
Cybersmart.gov.au also includes an online helpline for victims of cyber bullying, which offers confidential advice from trained counselors.