At the recent Queensland Anglican Schools biennial conference, the topic of Wellbeing was widely canvassed. Within this broad area, Cyber Safety and the digital world received special attention.
CHAC families will recall the compelling presentation given by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg at the College in February this year. Michael was also one of the keynote presenters at this conference. He stated that there are now more mobile phones and devices than there are people in the world. He highlighted the many positive aspects of this connectedness. Medicine is one field in which digital technologies have been embraced to great advantage. Ultrasounds, mole detection apps, blood pressure apps, and diabetes apps are now available and the benefit for those living in remote areas are obvious.
He also spoke about the ‘Wireless Onesie” and its associated app that may reduce cases of SIDS by measuring breathing patterns of infants. There are apps to encourage and assist with exercise, sleep, mindfulness and of course diet. He spoke of a number of apps to assist with Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and OCD. These included Reachout Breathe, MoodGym, Smiling Minds and Moodkit.
The Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) has been on the front foot with its approach to Cyber Safety, and in understanding that a community response is needed for this community issue has employed former Police Officer, Steven Window, to oversee all initiatives throughout the Diocese. Steven is also responsible for the ASC’s Cyber Safety and Digital Wellbeing website and has instigated the Cyber Safety Champion Network.
Earlier this week, CHAC became the first Anglican school to host this quarterly network meeting on a school campus. Over 30 representatives from around the state, including Cairns, Charters Towers and Bundaberg, gathered in the Enterprise Centre to learn more about latest research and trends and to discuss specific responses from schools.
Participants also heard from Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Ballantyne from Taskforce Argos. Scott’s message included practical advice for parents such as reviewing their children’s online contacts, knowing how to disable location services on devices, and reviewing photos of their children to ensure they are not inappropriate. He quoted a sobering statistic from the US that revealed up to 71% of parents stop supervising internet use by their children after age 14.
CHAC’s representative ‘Cyber Champions’ are the Director of Senior Secondary, Elizabeth Pratt, and Head of House, Kevin Hopkins. Their role is to support specific education programs from Prep through to Year 12 and to disseminate information to students, staff and parents. It was particularly pleasing to hear that around half the traffic on the ASC’s Cyber Safety Website has come from the CHAC Community. To coincide with this quarterly meeting, the 5th Edition of Cyber BYTES has been released. To access this website please follow this link or search for the tile below on the CHAC Gateway. It is also recommended that all families access the eSafety Commissioner’s website.
As part of the College’s ongoing focus on engaging with and educating parents on how to support their children’s safe navigation through the contemporary digital world, we hope you will take up our next offering:
Cyber Safety Information Evening
Tuesday 22 May, 6.30pm to 8pm in the College Auditorium
With Cyber Expert Brett Lee – and the launch of Family Zone.
We look forward now with great anticipation to our 2018 Biennial Wetlands Festival on Sunday 27 May – which promises to be another ‘pearler’ of an occasion in our 30th year. See you there!