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Keynote: Carr-Gregg Cybersafety

Keynote by Michael Carr at TechItUp conference, 23rd October 2009

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
23 October 2009

Liveblogging of this session - please feel free to add to, comment or add relevant links or references.


Outlines the nature and extent of the problem, the latest research and practical strategies to deal with problematic behaviours online and mobiles. A large section details with what schools can do to keep the community safe and reduce the risk o litigation

Live blog notes

Works with adolescents

Beyond generation y – towards generation z


1. The princess bitchface syndrome

2. When to worry, what to do about it

Single biggest transformation – movable type face ca. 14 C is the Internet

Digital divide – adults charged with the care of next generation feel as though they are shout out on the other side of the bedroom door

  • Online mental health services - mood online training programme, impact amazing as good as session with real psychologist
  • Computer game designed to help kids with anger management,
  • Depression single most problematic problem kids will have, youth beyond blue programme site
  • Kid helpline can talk to a professional counsellor or a chat-line any time

What is happening with families in terms of cybersafety, students are at risk online because they lack judgement are impulsive (aren’t developed in terms of brain capacity till mid twenties). There is low parent involvement in what kids are doing online, parents are frozen out, kids see access as right and private, parents are ignorant of the dangers of the online space. We need to develop a digital spine – a set of groundrules. Filters and other mechanisms for restricting access are very crude and don’t work. Problem is anonymity is leading to inappropriate behaviour, kids thing they are anonymous

Need to help empower parents and educate them to help ensure kids are safe online, the schools need to be more proactive in this process.

Need to help empower parents

Six most popular activities for teens online

  1. Chatting on MSN: treats include predators in chat rooms, don’t always know who they are talking to, other problem is what kids do to each other online. Solution is not to ban the internet, need to educate the kids and give them the skills they need to use the internet safely
  2. Text messages: Mobile explosion, more phones than people, 14, 500 text messages in one month! Very high mobile phone ownership, 8-11 yr olds 18%, 12-14 yr 75% and over 15 90%, mobile web commonplace within a year
  3. Social networking sites – facebook, myspace. Teens flaunting sex and drugs on MySpace. Up to 97% of 16-17 yrs olds claim to use at least one social networking service. Should you regularly monitor what your kids are doing online? Lost in cyberspace – fears that new networks are breeding grounds for real-life tragedies. Google “how to kill yourself”
  4. Downloading music, videos etc. Censorship now meaningless as a result.
  5. Also gaming sites. World of Warcraft – some obsessed, 15 hours a day.  Super columbine massacre – where you can relive the massacre – this is very sick. Gang rape revence games cheats ban – where you rape a mother and two children.
  6. Web surfing – cyberia mostly lawless

How is this impacting on kids and schools?

  • Impacts on teachers – cyberbullying affects 1 in 10 teachers – Guardian 4/4/09
  • can see what the students have said about teachers – deformation of character
  • The story of the shower girl – HeraldSun 22/3/07 filmed having sex in a shower and it was uploaded to a website
  • Some kids are using the internet obsessively

Worlds of kids – 4 + 1

  • 4 worlds of an adolescent peer world, school world, family world, inner world and now digital world
  • Why the fifth world – quantitatively different, virtual cameleons online, trying to work out who they are

Used correctly – great tool:  Big attraction for kids: Desire to be with age mates – social networking enables this, Anonymity, Search for identity etc, For young girls – has a biochemical component

Schools need to get their acts together – current policies are inadequate, emphasis on banning things, no student involvement in drafting of policy, no curriculum back up, no staff PD, no leadership

Governments need to be seen to be doing something,

How easy is it to bypass the filters – very easy, Tom Wood 16 yr old took 30 mins to bypass it, then a YouTube video on how to do this

What can schools do?

National centre against bullying – important to have a neutral organisation to take things forward, rather than the Government

Built on success of the SunSmart programme for safety against skin cancer created e-Smart. Trials currently taking place in Victoria.

E-Smart is voluntary - policies, practices, curriculum, parent education, StaffPD, student involvement. Low bar to entry but have to improve year on year.

Kate McCaffrey  “Destroying Avalon”, first novel on cyber bullying, offers insight into the cyber bullying worlds

Good practice - New Zealand NetSafe The Internet safety group

Policy development

  • Establish a cybersafety team (must include students and the IT people)
  • Cybersafety stocktake – search for your schools, digital footprint – type in school name into social networking sites and google
  • Implement technical safety system
  • Create initial cybersafety policy
  • Create acceptable use agreements
  • Board of trustees must agree
  • Present draft policy to the staff and get agreement
  • Present policy to parents and students - perhaps as a parenting quiz nights
  • Get consensus and get staff, parents and students to sign the agreement
  • NetSafe training for specialist roles
  • Integrate cybersafety into the curriculum
  • Expain use agreement to new students and paretns - have them signed up!
  • Explain also for new staff
  • Review the policy and use agreements annually - have to ensure there is time to do this


Extra content

Embedded Content


1:05am 25 October 2009

The link to moodgym does not work since  it needs a .au at the end.

This link should work.


Gráinne Conole
3:47am 25 October 2009

oops well spotted - now fixed ;-)

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