Cyber Safety Parent Information Evening

A parent information session on cyber bullying was held tonight in the school library. This was organised by  our student welfare staff.  John Keats a Youth Resource Office fromVictoria Police Force talked about cybersafety and keeping our families safe online. He also shared some experiences in his role both as a parent and as a police officer.

A small group of interested parents attended. The potential  positive impact that membership of social networking sites may have for people was emphasised but the dangers of predators and of cyber bullying was also clearly outlined. Time was also spent discussing sexting and the danger of child pornography charges being pursued.

A  video made in the UK, shared the heartbreak of a boy who suffered from cyberbullying.

Parents were encouraged to populate the online space so that they have a basic understanding of what can occur, how to keep their child as safe as possible and to provide a strong, positive online profile. Cybersmart is a valuable site and Am I old enough by Victoria Legal Aid.

When asked, parents stated that they would like to know how to:-

  •  log off
  • delete updates etc
  • use facebook, keep a strong, protected profile
  • block people
  • send a friendship request

Other questions related to setting a code on an iPad, how to use skype, twitter, youtube, moshi monster and minecraft safely. An evening will be conducted soon for parents with a ‘hands on’ component.

What are your concerns? What would you like to know or be shown?


What does your Digital Footprint say about you?


This year is the first year that all students from year 5 to 12 have personal net books for use inside and outside school hours. We have become a true 1:1 school, in which every student has access to a computer. As well as interactive learning objects and the ability to communicate, research and store resources and student work, students have the opportunity to create a variety of products that demonstrate their learning. Some of our teachers have made the most of this opportunity, offering online resources and class blogs.

 If your student is away from school for any reason, they have the ability to access some of their teacher’s work requirements online. Even if your child is at school, you can access the blogs to find out what work is going on in the classroom and what homework may be required. You can find some links to teacher’s blogs in the blogroll to the right of this post.

 Many students have been using their net books to access social networking sites, such as Facebook, MSN, MySpace, Skype and others. The school encourages safe and appropriate use of the internet and reminds students of the agreement they signed at the beginning of their net book lease. Cyber-safety and online etiquette are important skills that students need to be mindful of at all times when using social networking sites.

 Some teachers are using Facebook with senior students to model appropriate behaviour and the school has a Facebook page that has posts about school events, reminders and student achievements. We would like students to behave online as they would in a public place, and not post anything that they wouldn’t like to see on the front page of the Standard. To encourage students to think carefully about their online behaviour and the digital footprint that they leave, whenever they post online we are planning a competition for students from year 5 to 9 that will include creative writing, multimedia production, music and artwork. 

“What my Digital Footprint says about me” is the theme for the competition, which has the following categories for each age group (Year 5&6; Year 7&8 and Year 9&10):

  •  Writing (short story, poetry or essay up to 1,000 words that demonstrates an understanding of appropriate online behaviour)
  • Music (write song lyrics or a rap) about the effects of inappropriate use of online social networking.
  • Graphic Design and Art (Create an A3 advertisement that encourages appropriate online behaviour)
  • Multimedia (Video, Photo-story or animation up to 3 minutes that shows the consequences of inappropriate online behaviour)

 Prizes include iTunes gift vouchers and iPod accessories donated by “IT Made Simple”. Look out for more information at the beginning of next semester.

Learning safely online!

Five year 8 students, from Hawkesdale P12 College, were part of an exciting initiative offered by Innovations and Next Practice, DEECD. They worked on a number of aspects of online learning and chose to look at the lack of sleep that many student suffer because they are either bullied or up late using social networking sites. Several online sessions were organised for the students from all schools involved, with Dr Martyn Wilde leading them through some of the current research findings.

A celebration day was held in Melbourne at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) where all students involved shared their projects. The Premier of Victoria, Mr Brumby and the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike were both in attendance.

The five girls created a glogster, which shares

  1. the movie that they made
  2. an interview with Heather Blakey
  3. a graphed summary of the survey results etc

You can view the glog below, or alternately visit the glog by clicking on this link.

The movie “Life of a Cyber Bully Victim can be viewed below:-

Cyber Safety Awareness Week in Australia

June 6-11 is National Cyber Security Awareness Week, an Australian Government initiative, implemented in partnership with state and territory governments, to raise awareness of smart online practices. Online networking will only increase and we all need to ensure that we stay safe as possible, to enjoy this online environment.

To make use of this week, are two interesting  videos for students and parents from the Think u Know people in the UK

  1. the Jigsaw for upper primary/middle years students
  2. Consequences for middle years/ senior student

These two videos about online safety are great for parents to watch as well as children. Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Some reading:  



Hawkesdale P12 College is excited to be one of 27 schools chosen across Victoria, to be part of the Learning  Online Cybersafety initiative with our Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Five year 8 students will work as a team identifying potential problems with online learning pertinent to our school.  Students will participate in two web conference sessions that will support them to take authentic action in their school. During the online sessions students will work with a cybersafety expert, discussing online safety and identifying research questions that are relevant to their school. Offline, students will gather data and information that addresses their research questions and informs their action. It is anticipated that their action will assist to influence their peers to act more responsibly in the online environment. 


What are you biggest concerns about cyber safety? What would you like to know or learn?