Falls Creek students learning all about on-line safety
This Mt Hotham’s snow mover fired into action after a mega-blizzard turned the mountain into a white wonderland within the space of a few hours in late June. The snowstorm, known as “Snowmageddon”, has resort operators excited about the season ahead.
FALLS Creek Primary School is officially an eSmart school.
Since first registering with the program, the school has introduced new policies and activities to improve the way it manages cybersafety, bullying and cyberbullying.
Principal Helen Whittaker said Falls Creek students were now better armed to handle the World Wide Web.
“We feel confident our students, staff and the wider school community are now well supported to be smart, safe and responsible users of digital technology,” she said.
In late 2012 the The Alannah and Madeline Foundation launched the eSmart cyber-safety program, and all Victorian schools were encouraged to have their staff attend professional development and then work through an 18-month process in order to achieve eSmart certification.
Classroom teacher Renee Tanaskovic has led the school through the registration and implementation process.
“Although we have not had any cyberbullying issues to date, we still feel a responsibility to make sure our students are ready to tackle any such issues and to best prepare them for the future, when internet usage will become a bigger part of their lives,” Ms Tanaskovic said.
“We understand that students have different experiences with online activities, but it is most likely that all students coming into the school will have already had some contact with technology use.
“We believe it is extremely important to encourage respectful behaviour both online as well as in the classroom, and it is our responsibility to help parents understand how to tackle issues and keep children safe while using technology.”
Ms Whittaker said that becoming eSmart meant the school had added an extra layer to student well-being.
“We already had bullying and student engagement policies in place, but through becoming eSmart we have been able to add to this in relation to being cybersmart,” she said.
“The six domains of the eSmart framework guided us through the journey, and assisted in formulating our plan of action.
“We can be confident that all our staff, students and parents have the knowledge and practices to stay safe and use technology correctly whether they are at school or at home.”
WE DID IT: Falls Creek Primary School teacher Renee Tanaskovic and students celebrate becoming an eSmart school.