Supporting Cybersmart Learning at Home
What is Cybersmart?
"Cybersmart learning is embedded in our Manaiakalani goals and supports our learn, create, share pedagogy. Being Cybersmart empowers our learners as connected citizens. When their learning is visible and accessible, anytime, any place, at any pace, our young people learn to make smart decisions and understand that every time they connect, collaborate and share online it combines to create their digital footprint."
We chose the term Cybersmart rather than Cyber Safety and there is a really clear message around why we use this term. If we teach our students to be smart and always think when they are online then they will be able to keep themselves safe. The internet is not a safe place. We empower our students with knowledge to help them be smart online to keep themselves safe.
What are the kids learning and talking about at school?
Being a Smart Learner through the Kawa of Care
The Kawa of Care is an agreement between students, parents and schools to ensure the best care and responsibility is exercised with the Chromebook during each student’s time in the Uru Manuka programme. There are two important areas to acknowledge as a user of the Chromebook: Responsible use and Chromebook to home.
A learner’s Chromebook is not just a fancy accessory, their Chromebook will be a tool used daily. This tool enables children to connect with their teachers and peers, access information, create work and share their work online. If damage occurs to a Chromebook, it is difficult for students to carry out their day to day activities.
Before learners are able to use a Chromebook, children, parents and schools need to have signed the Kawa of Care. This ensures that our families understand the responsibility of using a device and the insurance conditions. Fusion Networks provides the technical support for all of the devices in the Uru Mānuka cluster.
Alongside the Kawa of Care the At Home Contract could be a way to introduce some expectations and ways of using the Chromebook while at home. Feel free to make a copy of the document and change to suit your family.
Having a Smart Footprint
The big ideas that we teach in Term Two of the Cybersmart programme are: Private vs. personal information, what you share online (comments, photos, videos, and blog posts) should be a reflection of who you are, things that you post or share online last forever, and not everything you read is real.
Focusing in on Profile Photos
Even if your account is private, your profile picture is shared online. For example when you google my name my twitter profile picture comes up, when you search on facebook you can see the profile pictures of everyone that has that name. Profile pictures are common on every form of social media - we ask our students to take a selfie as part of their blog profile too.
When taking a profile picture - you need to think about the messages that this image is sending to the world - not just your friends. An image says a thousand words. Do you want your next employer to see you in the state of your profile pic? What about your grandma? Are you sending the right message?
John Parsons also talks about Profile Pictures when he mentions child safety online. His message is that no child should be taking a profile picture alone. You think about empowering a student to take a strong profile picture that does not give away private information. Check out his video to hear his message.
He also employs a rule around 2 rooms that no photo should be taken in - the bedroom and the bathroom, these are private rooms and by making this a blanket rule you can keep your child/ren safe
Focusing on information
When we share anything online we need to be smart. Our in class sessions focus on the difference between private and personal information. Private Information is information about you that can be used to identify you because it's unique to you (e.g., your full name or your address). On the other hand Personal Information is information about you that cannot be used to identify you because it is also true for many other people (e.g., hair colour or the city you live in). Students are welcome to share personal information online but they need to keep their private information to themselves.
Another area of focus is around what information you should be giving websites, for example: why are you being asked for your full name or date of birth? And do you really need to have location tracking on? When you check that box that says I agree to the terms and conditions, do you know what you are agreeing to? Some sites use this information for marketing or other purposes. It is really important to tell the truth about your age on sign up. Age restrictions on sites change the type of information they record and share about you, as well as, what their advertising age is.
Once you have signed up to any app or website it is really important to go back through the privacy settings. What information have you made public? Do you know what will happen to the content you have created within the website or app?
Keeping Smart Relationships
In Term Three the Cybersmart content focuses on having smart relationships online. This covers how we interact with others and how our comments affect our digital footprint. The Manaiakalani structure for commenting is to always be positive, thoughtful and helpful. In Uru Mānuka we also focus on making sure what you are saying is true and kind. When we interact online we are talking to real people, so we need to treat them how we would treat them in a face to face setting.
During this term we also teach students what to do if they get into a situation where something goes wrong. We discuss spam emails and how to respond when something unkind or untrue happens.
Sharing through their Blog
All of our learners share their learning through a blog. You can find out more about this on our blogging page here. This is a great way to educate students around the impact of what they share online in a protected setting. Student blogs are monitored through the students teacher, through the school and also through the cluster facilitator.
Things to talk and think about at home
When you are at home…
- Where will the Chromebook be used?
- What time limits will you set?
- Where will you charge the Chromebook overnight?
- Do you know your children’s friends online and offline?
- Do you have a plan if your child is confronted with a difficult situation online?
Some Suggestions for how you can implement the Kawa of Care at home:
- Chromebook comes home from school and is plugged into the charger
- It is suggested that the Chromebook is not charged or stored in your child’s room
- The Chromebook is charged and stored in a secure place at home and comes to school 100% charged.
- It is suggested that, in line with recent research, the Chromebook is placed on the charger by the student following the completion of their home-learning* and a ‘technology curfew’ is in place for the remainder of the evening
- It is strongly suggested that students work in a family space when online
NOTE: These are our suggestions, or course how you support and manage online activity in your home is totally up to you - just keep in mind the importance of the Chromebook being ready for learning every day at school.
Age Limits Are They Important?
“The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is designed to protect the personal information of children under 13 online. Companies are required to notify and receive permission from parents to collect personal information from kids. The act also bars companies from collecting images or video that could identify the child. The protections outlined in COPPA are not extended to children under the age of 13 but claiming they are 13 to open an account. When a child signs up for an account with a falsified birth date, they are outside the reach of protection offered by the act and their personal information is at risk.” -Net Nanny (2017)