Melbourne, Aust. – 26 June, 2013 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) in partnership with Cyber Safe Kids, Common Sense Media (CSM) and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development today launched a pilot digital citizenship initiative Growing Up Digital for Australian students and communities. Growing Up Digital is a unique, sustainable and holistic approach to educating Australian students and communities on digital citizenship.
The pilot, launched today at Greythorn Primary School in Victoria, will be trialed across 10 Victorian Independent, Government and Denominational schools. The Growing Up Digital initiative will provide ongoing, accessible resources to Australian schools, cross-curricula lesson plans for grades (K-12), interactive modules for students, parents and training for teachers.
As part of an expanded global corporate responsibility initiative, Symantec will support Commonsense Media's alignment of its digital citizenship and literacy curriculum with the local curriculum in Australia, New Zealand and International Baccalaureate Schools across Asia Pacific. Cyber Safe Kids as an official International Partner of Common Sense Media will provide the training to the pilot schools in Australia using its evidence based curriculum and align their K to 12 materials. This will ensure that against every unit and lesson plan for all grades from K to 12, there would be an alignment to the Australian Curriculum with cross curricula opportunities. The 8 key categories which are the focus of the Common Sense Media resources are: Internet safety, digital footprints and reputation, privacy and security, relationships and communication, info literacy, cyber-bullying, and creative credit and copyright.
Symantec as a foundation partner of Common Sense Media already provides ongoing support for the expansion of the Common Sense digital literacy and citizenship in schools across the United States and the creation of new educational materials on piracy and copyright issues. The Growing Up Digital initiative will be the first global localisation of CSM resources and will provide measurable social impact studies and real benefits to the community with the scope to expand nationally and internationally. The evaluation will also identify the impact of explicit teaching on attitudinal and behaviour change and school climate and culture.
Marian Merritt, Internet Safety Advocate at Symantec said;
"Symantec is proud to support this initiative in Australia. The Growing Up Digital program will empower schools to implement the best programs to help develop responsible, ethical, safe and respectful digital citizens. Right now, the range of available educational resources ends up being overwhelming to schools, parents and young people"
"We believe that a safer Internet is one underpinned by the values of citizenship, and through engaging with the school community, providing teachers with necessary training and implanting digital citizenship values within the school curriculum. With this approach, we can raise awareness to levels needed to change attitudes and behaviour about what it means to live responsibly in a digital world."
The initiative also aims to support increased student use of digital tools in education with the introduction of 1-1 laptops and 'Bring Your Own Device' programs in Australian schools, as well as growing use of social media at both school and at home.
Martin Dixon, Victorian Minister for Education, said:
"In an increasingly digitalised world, young people need to learn about responsible online behaviour and cyber safety."
"The Victorian Government recently launched its Bully Stoppers program, which provides practical advice to help school communities deal with bullying online and offline."
"Bully Stoppers has been extremely well-received and now the Growing Up Digital program will provide schools with added resources to educate students and parents on digital activity."
The Bully Stoppers initiative is a part of the Victorian Government's $14.5 million Stamp Out Bullying campaign that aims to ensure that action is taken to make schools safer and protect students from bullying and cyberbullying. The initiative, including an online toolkit and a community awareness campaign, was launched by the Minister Dixon on 15 March.
Robyn Treyvaud, Founder, Cyber Safe Kids said "Children and young people have the right and responsibility to feel and be safe in both online and offline spaces. This includes physical, psychological, and content safety as well as a growing awareness of responsibility to self and others in all they do and say. We want to empower communities to become conscientious and reflective digital citizens, and have observed that schools implementing the Common Sense Media program have found the values that underpin it resonate with the values, beliefs and attitudes of their school community."
The pilot program will be implemented throughout term three this year and a survey of students, teachers and parents at the commencement and end of the pilot will be conducted to assess the program's effectiveness and potential for future growth. Schools that would like to find out more about this initiative should visit http://www.cybersafekids.com.au/.
Schools in the 'Growing Up Digital' pilot initiative:
- St. Johns Regional College Dandenong
- Ruyton Girls' School
- Kingswood College
- St Mary's Echuca Catholic College
- Melbourne Montessori School
- Shalom Aleichem College
- Catholic College-Bendigo
- Canterbury Primary School
- Templestowe College
- Greythorn Primary School
About COMMON SENSE MEDIA
Common Sense Media offers digital citizenship and literacy curriculum to help educators empower their students and their school communities to be safe, responsible and savvy as they navigate this fast paced digital world. Common Sense Media believes in strong partnerships between home and school. That's why they designed resources to help parents and carers navigate and discuss the impact of digital media on kids' social, emotional and intellectual development. Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.
About CYBER SAFE KIDS
Cyber Safe Kids provides online safety and digital citizenship resources and is managed by its founder Robyn Treyvaud an educational leader and online safety educator working with schools and communities across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
About THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, VICTORIA
The Department provides education and development services to children, young people and adults in Victoria both directly through government schools and indirectly through the regulation and funding of early childhood services, non-government schools and training programs.
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