eSafety launches first online safety education framework
The eSafety Commissioner has launched the first-ever national online safety education framework, helping Australian schools and teachers equip the youth with the necessary skills to safely navigate the online world.
eSafety developed the “Best Practice Framework for Online Safety Education” along with support materials after consultation with over 80 education authorities, organisations and expert individuals.
In an eSafety research released earlier this year, it was revealed that three-quarters of Australian teens wanted online safety information delivered through trusted channels. It was also shown that teachers needed a dedicated curriculum to help keep kids safer online.
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the Framework was designed to guide and assist educators to help young people deal with growing and ever-changing risks associated with being online and to lead a meaningful behavioural change.
“Educators and parents alike need to understand that not all online safety education content and approaches are created equal. This Framework helps to ensure we are providing educators with guidance on online safety programs that work,” Commissioner Grant said.
“Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that young Australians are consistently being armed with the resilience and critical reasoning skills they need to discern online fact from fiction, to effectively respond to abuse and unwanted contact and to ultimately, manage online conflict.”
The Best Practice Framework for Online Safety Education is a comprehensive framework that will address the needs of every student at every year level. The Framework provides guidance on the following:
- Students’ rights and responsibilities in a digital age
- Resilience building
- Current and emerging risks
- Help-seeking; how to obtain guidance and support
- Professional learning and capacity building for schools and their staff.
The Framework plays an important role in eSafety’s work on delivering the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, where the Royal Commission called for them to oversee the development of a framework and resources that support schools in creating child-safe online environments.
eSafety commissioned the Queensland University of Technology to undertake research as part of the consultation process. The research report’s lead author, Professor Kerryann Walsh, said that the Framework was the culmination of a worldwide review and input from numerous school stakeholders.
“The idea of a framework was welcomed by everyone we spoke with and there was a sense that education is a crucial part of our national online safety response and a powerful tool for behaviour change,” Professor Walsh said.
“Having the new Framework means that everyone in the education sector is talking the same language when it comes to understanding the issues and developing ways to enable students to be safe, positive, and well online.”