30 August 2012
Cyber sleuths get more than they bargained for!
The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s ‘game-based’ program Cybersmart Detectives, has proved to be extremely effective in educating kids about cyber-safety according to independent research published today.
The program played online by over 28,000 Australian students was evaluated by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) at Edith Cowan University. The evaluation, the first of its kind in the world, measured the students’ level of understanding before and after taking part in the game.
‘This research shows the value of teaching Cybersmart Detectives to students in a safe, school-based environment, particularly for vulnerable youth who are most at risk,’ said ACMA Deputy Chairman, Richard Bean.
‘The realistic scenarios in the game help to educate and empower students online so they can make informed decisions when faced with cyberbullying and social networking in real-life situations.’
‘It is good to see that students reported that after playing the game they would change their personal online behaviour, for example, by removing or altering any information they had already placed online,’ he said
‘Participation in the Cybersmart Detectives activity also reinforced the concept of ‘stranger danger’ in an online environment, revealing they now understood how easily others can conceal their true identity online,’ he said.
Cybersmart Detectives is part of Cybersmart Challenge, a suite of online activities that encourages upper primary students to learn about internet safety by practising social problem solving skills in a similar environment to live online situations.
The ACMA also plays an important role in the protection of children through investigation of offensive depictions of children online upon the receipt of a valid complaint. The ACMA refers potentially illegal content to law enforcement or the international community of Internet Hotlines for enforcement action and take-downs overseas. Complaints can be made at: www.acma.gov.au/hotline
National Child Protection Week starts 2 September and brings together key agencies with an interest in promoting online safety for young people, including education, State and Federal Police, government and child welfare advocates.
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