Students' perspectives about online safety issues provide insight into the culture of a school.
The world of digital learning beckons with opportunities but at the same time, it does presents risks. To benefit from the opportunities and minimise the risks, teachers, parents and students need to work together.
Students today are growing up digital. They are increasingly using digital technologies to learn, socialise and communicate, challenging the traditional concept of a school. In many instances, there is a discrepancy between the online safety issues that students face or are concerned about and the issues that adults (teachers and parents) 'think' are the problem. Students also know things that adults often don't – just as teachers and parents know other things that students may not. This is especially true in the digital world.
Therefore, the Department recognises it is essential that students are encouraged to voice their concerns and develop their own ideas and opinions. Student voice in all schools should be called for, respected and valued. Better policies, processes and decisions can be made within schools if everyone who is affected by them is involved in making them.
Most schools in Victoria already have a student organisation to represent the views and work on behalf of students. Schools can use these groups to encourage all students to become ambassadors for the safe and responsible use of social media and to make the online world a safe and positive space for everyone.
If you'd like your students to get involved in the fight against bullying, see: Students Leading the Way
For more information, see: Cybersafety Advice Sheets for Kids