AMF-largeLast year, Google announced a partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to provide an eSmart Digital Licence to every grade six student in Australia. This new initiative, aimed at ten-year-olds and above, leads children through an interactive course on how to be smart, safe and responsible digital citizens. They’ll learn what’s OK to share online with friends, how to use the web safely, how to deal with cyberbullies and how to act responsibly themselves. Google’s $1.2 million grant will make this course free for every Australian student in their final year of primary school — offering a licence to 300,000 school children across the country.
The eSmart Digital Licence is an innovative way to teach safety skills to children that many adults had to figure out themselves, sometimes the hard way.
Since announcing the grant, a series of media events have been conducted in several NSW schools as a way to showcase the importance of digital safety in a fun and engaging way – perfect for media! These Digital License events work around the premise of ‘Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?’ – kids and adults face off against each other (one team consisting of kids led by one adult) and answer questions from the eSmart Digital License. The team with the most correct points, wins! DSC_0019
On Tuesday, Malvern Primary hosted one of these event which was attended by representatives from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Google Australia and the Federal Minister for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer.
In preparation for the event, all of the Grade 6 students were provided access to the Digital License software and a reasonable size group of students nominated themselves to compete for spots on the teams to participate in the Digital License Challenge. To be selected they needed to complete as much of the Digital License as possible over the weekend. I’m extremely happy to say that a large number did and the 9 studDSC_0027ents achieving the highest scores participated on Tuesday.
The team did fantastic job and really impressed all of the guests and dignitaries. There were some tough questions asked and it was a high competitive completion.
The students also got the opportunity to have a question and answer session with the representatives of Google. The Grade 6s didn’t hold back and asked some very deep and insightful questions which encourage a longer than expected discussion. The two Google representatives were extremely impressed by the nature and depth of the questions.
There will be articles posted on the Alannah and Madeline Website and on Kelly O’Dwyer’s social media pages along with articles in the Herald Sun, Age and Stonington Leader later this week talking about this event and the extension of the funding by Google.
Digital Licenses, this year, are a big part of our Digital Citizenship education program and we really want the Grade 6s to understand how social media and other digital tools can be extremely helpful tools but also to ensure they are aware of the potential issues they may also encounter. The items addressed include:
• Digital Devices – Virus, software, updates, Wi-Fi and GPS, mobile security and apps
• Social Networking & Gaming – Digital rights and responsibilities, social media and gaming
• Protecting Privacy – Passwords, scams and protecting private information
• Communicating Safely Online – nstant messaging, emailing and video calling
• Searching & Researching – Search engines and filters, file downloading and offensive contentDSC_0035
• Friends & Strangers – Unwanted online contact, cyberbullying and managing friends online
• Creating & Sharing – Copyright and plagiarism, images and videos and acceptable user agreements
• Managing Money & Online Credits – Online transactions, website security and fraud
All grade 6 students have been asked to complete the Digital License by the end of term 1 holidays and we would encourage all Grade 6 parents to support your children in completing this task. Hopefully you can use it as a prompt to start discussions about the issues covered and their importance.
You can access more information about the digital licences at