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Education program creates new generation of online influencers

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has launched a new education program, The YeS Project, encouraging young people and teachers to explore online issues including cyberbullying and image-based abuse, sparking important conversations and problem solving in students’ online and offline worlds.

“As young Australians continue to encounter a range of confronting and challenging experiences online, it has never been more important to help young people positively shape their digital practices and support their peers,” said, Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner.

“Reassuringly, our research suggests that young people are able to recognise the positive outcomes that arise from negative incidents online, like knowing how to manage these risks or helping a friend through online strife,” Inman Grant said.

“The YeS Project aims to build on these behaviours, empowering students to positively influence their online worlds – individually and as a group – bybeing supportive peers, sharing stories and knowing what to do if something goes wrong online.”

“It also helps teachers build their capacity in a space that can be uncomfortable and sometimes foreign – but one that is vital to understand in order to help young people navigate the online world more safely,” Inman Grant said.

In its unique format, teachers can choose from 12 standalone workshops to design a program that works for their students and school environment.

“This comprehensive and responsive approach to eSafety learning helps to facilitate positive, long-term behavioural change. Students will develop skills to help lead, influence, mentor and support their fellow peers,” adds Inman Grant.

This digital and social health program is mapped against the Australian curriculum, and mirrors other health education initiatives, using an ethics framework to support young people caring for themselves, their peers and their worlds.

To celebrate the launch of The YeS Project, the eSafety Office is holding an event at ACMI in Melbourne with a range of key education stakeholders and students who were involved in the development of the program and its content.

Teachers can download The YeS Project free Workshop Handbook and Educator Guide, including a conversation starter video here. 

School News

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