CyberCulture – Resources for parents & teachers

Camberwell Grammar JS – iPad evening  (3.1 MB – February 2013)

STV Chat Show – Teenagers Online

JPC Conference 2011 slides – CyberCulture not CyberSafety

Click here for an article I wrote in February 2011 on the issue of educating for a good CyberCulture.

Herald Sun Article about the Strathcona Parent Seminar – 4th June 2010


A student’s safety and reputation is to be carefully protected when dealing with all digital communication technologies. Teachers and parents have a responsibility to protect their students/children but also to advise them on safe online practices.

Online Identity

All care should be taken to protect a student’s identity when working online. Students need to be constantly reminded that they are potentially vulnerable when communicating online and that anything they publish (even text messages and emails) can potentially become public and cause harm.

Understanding how the Internet works

Students should also be educated about how the Internet works and how potentially harmful files can be stored on servers for many years.

The following YouTube links demonstrate what a web server looks like and how they work.;;

When a student sees the physical hardware involved in Internet infrastructure they can be come more aware of what is involved when they click the send button.

Social Networking

Online social networking through sites such as Facebook and mySpace are very popular amongst teenagers and younger students also enjoy this modern phenomena through sites such as Club Penguin. There are many positive facets to social networking however students should be regularly reminded of the potential dangers of identity theft and online stalking. Here are some simple recommendations for the use of online social networking sites.

Encourage students to

–   always set sites to private;

–   only invite known and trusted people as members/friends;

–   avoid publishing flirty or suggestive images;

–   never publish personal details such as full name, phone numbers, contact addresses, school or age.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging can come in the form of online chats through sites like MSN, phone text messaging, Facebook chats and email.

Students need to be encouraged and regularly reminded to always be polite when communicating online and avoid writing potentially harmful material. Any none face to face communication is open to misinterpretation, so the use of emotion cues such as 🙂 and 😦 is encouraged. The use of all capital letters should be discouraged as it infers shouting and anger.

Students should be regularly reminded that anytime they communicate online it is stored on a server somewhere, could be passed onto other people (like Year Level Co-ordinators) or could be printed out and used as evidence of harassment or bullying.


Cyberbullying is a real concern for many students and can have potentially life threatening consequences. Cyberbullying is a repeated and deliberate use of information and communication technologies to cause harm to an individual or group. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to educate their student’s/children about the effects of cyberbullying and how to deal with it.

Research shows that almost one in four students between the ages of 11 and 19 have been the victims of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying has the same insidious effects as any kind of bullying, turning children away from school, friendships, and in tragic instances, life itself.

Any type of bullying is not harmless. In some cases, it can even be a criminal offence. Most victims suffer shame, embarrassment, anger, depression and withdrawal, but in extreme incidents, cyberbullying has led students to suicide.

The best weapon is awareness. If your student/child can talk about the problem with an older person then cyberbullying can come out of the mobile phone inboxes and out of the computers, and into the open.

Recommended Resources

ACMA – Australian Government

Cybersafety contact centre.

This centre provides information about cybersafety concerns and issues and operates between 8:00am and 10:00 pm in all states – phone 1800 880 176.

Complaints hotline.

A complaints hotline for members of the public to report offensive internet material. Complaints can be made through

Australian Federal Police


Making your home computer safe – 10 common questions

Chris Betcher’s – Bye Bye Facebook article