Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1858 ..
(2) Has the Government considered the risks and impact of addictive use of technology and social media; if so, what advice has the Minister sought or has the Directorate provided on how to address this problem; if not, what is the Government’s position on these risks.
(3) What strategies does the Government have for teaching students about cyber security.
(4) What training sessions have been given to teachers and directorate staff.
(5) If no training sessions have been given to teachers and directorate staff, will the Government require and provide training.
(6) What role will teachers play in determining correct use of Chromebooks.
Ms Berry: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
In designing the delivery of devices to ACT public schools, I established a School Education Advisory Committee (the committee) to review evidence, and research, and to advise on best practice for implementation. The committee comprised of stakeholders with a particular expertise in the use of technology in education - teachers, students, parents, academic experts and education administrators.
(1) Chromebooks allocated to students under the initiative are managed like any other ICT asset provided by the Government to schools. The Territory’s filtering software reduces the risk of accidental access to inappropriate online content at school. The filtering is age appropriate and allows limited access to social media depending upon the age of the student. Appropriate provisions are in place as per the Communities Online: Acceptable use of ICT – Parents and Students Guidelines. In addition, the parent information booklet developed as part of the initiative provides age appropriate guidance on how to keep students safe at home, including sensible social networking.
(2) Chromebooks are being delivered to bridge the equity gap in access to technology for learning and complements the existing school Bring your Own Device (BYOD) programs already in place. It is common practice for students to bring devices into school to support their learning. In line with the committee’s advice that schools maintain a balanced and pedagogy focused approach to ICT use, consistent with the Australian Curriculum, device usage has always been balanced and focused on educational best practice. Not all learning requires a device.
(3) All Canberra public schools teach students about cyber safety and responsible online behaviour and provide information to their school community. The Office of the E-Safety Commissioner, in partnership with the ACT Education Directorate, delivers cyber safety programs to ACT schools and there are complementary resources on their website available for parents. Consistent with the committee’s recommendation that guidelines include links to best practice digital citizenship programs, the website link is included, along with other guidance material, in the parent information booklet and is available on the Directorate’s website.
(4) The ACT Education Directorate is expanding its existing professional learning program to support schools. In addition to the current program featuring Google for Education quarterly workshops and annual Canberra Summit, the Directorate has sought input from schools and teachers to inform further professional learning priorities, which are being developed into a program for the duration of the initiative.
(5) Additional professional learning opportunities will commence in Term 2, 2018.