Body Safety Australia's Naked Truth Workshop

I love learning; I imagine that it is part of the reason why I have sought a career in education, it excites and energises me – like feeding my brain, fuels my entire self. Deanne Carson’s Naked Truths cyber safety night has kept me thinking virtually non- stop for the past week about the evolution of this ‘Online World’ and how we can protect and teach our children to navigate their way through online mediums in safe ways. I started listing the points Deanne made that were most pertinent to me as an educator and member of a community with children at the centre... then realised I was essentially recounting every. single. point. she. made. 

 

We know that the language we use is powerful, especially to those young people around us who look to us for guidance, role modelling and to piece together their developing understandings of the world around them. Sometimes we can give messages that are powerful without realising it. “Online vs. Real Life”  has always baffled me as a concept and Deanne articulated the ongoing impact of separating online behaviour from “real life” through our language perfectly; not only has this changed the acceptable standard of behaviour (trolling, bullying, death threats) but has also created a clear (if unintentional) divide in laws. Deanne’s example of the legal response and ramifications of someone ‘flashing’ in public compared to someone sending an unsolicited image of a similar nature is striking! Managing acceptable behaviour online is new to all of us and the structures of society that keep us in balance are now racing to keep up to the rapid changes – schools and families are included in this. 

 

I want to thank all the families and teachers who came on this learning journey together. Whilst much of the information shared was confronting and at times a little unsettling, I feel there was an empowering message throughout the evening – our children are more savvy than we might think they are; they are learning to navigate this world as ‘natives’ with a supportive community around them who are dedicated to helping them thrive. Deanne’s analogy of road safety is remarkable – roads are incredible creations that take us amazing places, but they can also be dangerous if we are not taught how to use them appropriately. With a slow increase of responsibility and an equally slow and deliberate decrease of supervision, matched with conversations, connections, education and openness, we can teach our children to use this exciting tool in amazing new ways and watch where and how the next generation will decide to pave their new roads. 


Hannah Reid 

 

 

 

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