Digital Inclusion and Cyber Safety at Austalia’s eSmart Week
Digital literacy is a key skill for children to be well prepared for their future jobs and education. However, while most programs have mainly focused on teaching how to use technology, National eSmart Week in Australia has adopted a different approach: cyber safety.
According to Lesley Podesta, chief executive of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, every child requires digital literacy in order to be able not to fear technology and to navigate it comfortably, safely and competently.
During eSmart Week – which took place September 4-8, – schools, libraries, communities and parents were invited to learn more about digital skills and cyber safety. The event was intended to create awareness and ideas to encourage children to use technology while keeping in mind the relevance of following smart safe practices. Digital technologies are useful tools, however, they should be used responsibly.
For example, at Moreton Bay Regional Council libraries, the program EQUIP yourself was organized to support eSmart Week. This initiative consisted in free technology sessions and classes explaining how to use smartphones, computers, tablets and games with tips to handle cyber safety. Through a combined approach of digital literacy and security, participants are encouraged to not only understand the benefits of technology, but also to better handle the risks it might involve.