Sunday, 11 September 2011

Cyber Safety in Room 16

This year our syndicate has been looking at problems. Term one - disasters, Term two - fair trade and this term in discussion with the students we chose cyber safety as a problem that effects them. Already this term alone we have had a variety of cyber safety issues that children have encounted, evidence that it is a topic they need to learn about. 
We started off with a homework task of researching the Tree Octopus. I had some wonderful assignments handed in with great detail about how the Tree Octopus is endangered as fashionist like to wear them as hats, and about how their biggest predator is the Big Foot.  They fell for the fake website proving the children are far too gullible when it comes to believing everything they read on the internet. It also highlighted the need to use more than one source when researching a topic. We looked into other fake websites too and also spoke about how bias can effect what you’re reading.
Currently Room 16 has been split into four groups and each group is investigating a different issue. (cyber bullying, scams, social networking and the final group is focusing on tips for parents and young children, particularly with internet games like club penguin and mooshi monsters). Each group is making a movie which we hope to show at assembly this week. Then each group will create resources to support their movie. 
One group looking at cyber safety has decided to investigate how to best set up a facebook account. This is a controversial topic as not all children in the class are 13 years old and therefore should not legally be on Facebook. However the problem is that whether we like it or not half the class are on Facebook, and with parent consent. Many children are starting Facebook at primary school. So whose job is it to teach these children to use social media responsibly and safely? In my opinion we can’t follow them home and stop them from using it so best to teach them how. We are focusing on teaching them how to set up their accounts so only friends can see their photos and information, to only become friends with people they are actually ‘friends’ with in real life, to not post any photos or words that may effect them or others in a negative way, now or in the distant future. We also hope they will understand that whatever they put on any social media can never be guaranteed private.
The biggest challenge for me is monitoring each group to ensure they are using their time effectively, sharing tasks equally and producing quality outcomes. At the end of each session the group must record ‘minutes’, a write up about what they achieved in the block and next steps explaining what they plan to do next block. A goal is to get google docs set up so we can keep our group diaries online. 
We have encountered a few technical problems along the way, however generally I am impressed with what most groups are coming up with. They are showing a lot of creativity in their movies and one group have obvious strength in their editing skills. A lot of work yet to be done, but keep watching this space as we hope to share our movies with you soon.

AJ's Progress with her Blog

Well it’s been almost a month since I last posted on my own blog. I have been busy getting Alicia going on hers. She has become very motivated and excited to hear that so many people are interested in reading what she has to share. She loves to monitor the page visits and it’s great to see people visiting from all over the world. I’m impressed with how quickly she has mastered the art of blogging, typical of kids her age. If I had to be honest I’d have to say that I think she’s over taken me in some areas,... ok many! She loves to change the colours and fonts. It’s great that she’s taken ownership of it and what goes on it. She is now in America having a wonderful time and letting us know about her adventures in the USA. We have many teachers following her travels we now need to get more of her classmates regularly checking her posts.
This link should take you to Alicia’s newspaper article.