The eSmart Digital Licence initiative comes from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation which battles violence against children. It’s aimed at ten-year-olds and above, and leads children through an interactive course on how to be smart, safe and responsible digital citizens. They 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.
Since its formation in 1996, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has found countless ways to make sure children experience the safe and happy childhoods that is their right. While, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s mission hasn’t changed, the technology that our children use has. Today every classroom has computers, and children often bring tablets and smartphones to school. Although the Internet expands the scope for children to explore and learn, it also compels us to teach them new responsibilities and new ways to stay safe.
Google’s $1.2 million grant will make the Foundation’s 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. We hope that parents and teachers will be able to sit down with their children and work towards a digital licence together, promoting important conversations along the way.
The description of the course looks pretty good. It would, however, be nice to see a distinct module focusing on ethical online behaviour; not just how to keep yourself safe but how to act responsibly towards others without someone looking over your shoulder.
Teachers of Grade 6 students at any Australian school can sign up to access the free digital licences in 2015 for their students at: www.digitallicence.com.au. Outside of Year 6 the eSmart Digital Licence program costs $30.