The Junior School marked Safer Internet Day 2023, a global initiative that brings together communities, families, schools and organisations from more than 200 countries to help create safer online spaces.
Initiated 20 years ago, the day has unsurprisingly grown in significance given the rapid evolution of technology and students’ increased access to the internet from a young age.
The theme for Safer Internet Day this year was Connect, Reflect and Protect
- Connect safely and with purpose – by keeping apps and devices secure and using social media in positive ways.
- Reflect before we act – by taking a moment to consider how what we do and say online may affect others.
- Protect ourselves with knowledge – by telling family and friends about the eSafety Commissioner and how they can help.
Having discussed the significance of Safer Internet Day, the girls from Prep to Year 6 jointly constructed a class pledge to create a safer online environment. These pledges reflected an astute understanding of responsible online engagement.
While there are undoubtedly many benefits of student engagement in a wide range of online activities, like the real world, there are also inherent risks of which all users must be aware. Australian research commissioned by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner highlighted not only the prevalence and impact of negative online experiences and exposure to inappropriate content, but also the important role parents play in helping their children navigate their online lives.
A strong partnership between home and school is vital in helping our students enjoy positive experiences online. Together we can do this by reiterating important eSafety messages and reinforcing shared expectations around digital technology use.
Each year, Ascham Junior School students engage in a series of Digital Citizenship lessons to equip them with the knowledge and skills to engage in the online world responsibly, respectfully and safely.