Falls Creek stu­dents learn­ing all about on-line safety

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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