Cyber Savvy Summit 2014

Over the last couple days I have had the privilege to be involved in the Cyber Savvy Summit 2014. This was the first official meeting of all schools involved in the Cyber Savvy Project which is

a world first study to support young people to make positive choices about their online behaviour, and in particular the use of images sent via mobile phones and the Internet. It is conducted by researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute and supported by the Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund 2012, Healthway and the Department of Education Western Australia.

In the weeks leading up I had to choose 4 year 9 students that would represent our College and also become “Cyber Savvy Ambassadors”. I think we were all a bit apprehensive as I had not taught the students before and we really had little idea about what the 2 days would entail. After the Summit we realised the importance of the “secretiveness”. Both days involved me picking up the students from school and making the almost hour trip to the WA Basketball Centre (and yes we got to see the Wildcats train :) ) As always at these kinds of events we arrived on the first day trying to get our bearings. We were welcomed by the staff and given our name badges, which we noticed had numbers and different colours. We then found our tables, grabbed a drink (coffee for me) and then kinda stood together trying to figure out what would happen next. At 9am we were asked to sit at our tables. We found our gift bags, which contained some neat stuff like USB drive, pen and best of all a pretty cool looking shirt. I was grouped on one of the 2 teacher tables that had been set up towards the back of the room. All tables also had volunteers that would be guiding us through the 2 days. When we introduced ourselves I realised I was heavily outnumbered, as most of the teachers were from a Pastoral Care background and had joined the Project either by being told to by their principal or because they were dealing with so many negative issues due to social media. I, on the other hand, had joined because of how important I felt the issue was. Throughout the first day the students and teachers began their journey into sharing their knowledge of social media and more particularly the use of images in social media. Our MC for the 2 days (Steve Lacy) was excellent and he used many different strategies to help us feel comfortable with each other and be able to share and work together. We played many games that would make us think, laugh and feel like a team - which was so important. The Cyber Savvy Team describe him as the ‘translator’ to students. At the end of the first day we had started to narrow down many ideas and began the process of designing an App. On my table I had come up with an idea that everyone really liked and it took plenty of effort from our team volunteer to keep us from jumping too far ahead in the design process. The trip home on the first day was completely silent as we were all exhausted. Day 2 saw us continue to design an app in our groups and produce a sales pitch for the app which would later be judged. We also found out that a $200 gift voucher would be given to every student involved on the winning group. Before lunch we presented our app ideas and they were all great. Every app had at least one great idea that would be so beneficial if the app was made. Unfortunately none of the students from my College were involved in the winning group, but they all did a fantastic job. The winning app was called “Leash” and involved “pulling” or “retrieving” photos that have been shared on social media. The app could also show who had access to your shared photos. Overall it was a fantastic learning experience for the students and teachers involved and I think we all came away excited for more to come. A highlight for me was meeting Donna Cross and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that we had. A great memory. Oh and what was my app idea? It is an app that will look at everything that you post on all of your social media sites and then warn you when it detects a post that it believes could affect your reputation. The home screen is a summary of how many post you have made over a period of time. It is broken into photos, likes, tags etc. Using simple and recognisable icons and a graph to show the number of posts it is simple and clear. If the graph line is green then the app has no issue with your post. If it is red the app has detected something wrong. Home Screen By clicking that section you can get more details and be able to then get further details by clicking on the offending post :) IMG_6562 The final part of the app is that all the hard work is done in the cloud so that the app never needs to be opened. If the server detects an issue, you will receive a push notification. Now hopefully this is enough to call for prior art if someone makes this app - I want it.

Breaking my

So about 3 weeks ago I decided to take a break from Facebook; it was the direct result of commenting on a post and offended one of my “friends”. I immediately deleted the comment and made my apologies, a short time later a I thought that it may be time to take a step back and rethink how much time I spend on FB and what was this “friendship” that FB has me hooked on.

My first action was to sign out of the website and delete the FB apps from my iPhone and iPad. I had decided that I may still post the occasional item from other apps like Runkeeper or share interesting news items. I would not, though be active on my account. I also decided that I would still use the chat functionality of FB as I felt that this was like using text messaging. I am not going to detail everyday of my self made sabbatical but I will summarise what i found; In the first few days I actually felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, I had no interest in being on FB or wondering what was going on. The battery life of my phone also went through the roof. After about 3 days I did start looking at what was happening on my newsfeed. This was mainly to do with the fact that I missed finding out what my “friends” were doing - basically I became an FB stalker. This was good experience but didn’t actually make me want to check more than once a day and I still had no interest in posting. After a week I had decided that I would remain off FB for the rest of the school holidays and then more than likely return. It was fun asking my wife what was happening and she would tease me to check - hilarious. During this time I also removed some of my “friends” and moved some to “acquaintances” which meant I could use the “visible to friends but not acquaintances” feature of status updates. So basically I would lessen the number of people I could offend. Once the 2 weeks was over I did announce my return and was met with the “buzz” from receiving “likes” and comments to my status update. It was at this point that I realised the addiction and where it comes from - there is a great desire to get a response from my “friends”. My immediate response was to remove the app from my iPhone. I made this decision as I have my iPhone with me at all times and I did not want to return to writing status updates only for the sake of getting the emotional reaction that I had became addicted to. The app is on my iPad as I mainly use that connected to the Internet when I am at home. I also made it quite clear in my first post back that I would not be offended if my “friends” “unfriended” me if they did not like what I said. I have no idea if anyone took me up on my offer. In writing this post it is a week since my return and I have certainly not been as active as I used to be. I really don’t miss FB as much as I thought I might and I’m not sure it’s my imagination but my newsfeed seems like there are less post than before, so maybe my experience has brush off on to others. If there was a moral to this story I would have to say that FB doesn’t need to run your life, but it is a great way to keep in touch with “friends”. Use it when needed, use it well, make your friends happy and be yourself! PS as I post this to FB I am now sitting waiting for my “friends” to comment or like.

Social Media Slideshow for Parents

Social Media First SLide Recently at my school I needed to present a session for parents on Social Media. Attached is the PDF version of the Keynote presentation that I created. If you would like a copy of the Keynote please let me know. Social Media Slideshow for Parents.pdf

Year 7 Social Media Lesson

So I thought I would share the lesson I taught to my year 7 classes last week. It was tweaked during the week and in the last lessons I didn’t even use Quikpad (mainly because it didn’t work). I didn’t have time to cover the section on having “real friends” as our lesson go for about 40mins. Hit the read more to read more


  • Students get laptops and login
  • Explain that lesson is on using Social Media properly and why it is important.
  • We will be covering topics that we believe is very important and in no way are we promoting the use of Social Media.
  • Take a poll on students that use Social Media like Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 5.14.54 PM
  • Talk to students about the age restriction of most Social Media websites
  • Poll student’s on what involvement their parents play in them using Social Media:
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 5.15.13 PM  
  • Poll students on Peer pressure to have Social Media
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 5.15.23 PM Digital Reputation
  • Show…
  • Discuss with students that putting images on the Internet is one part of their “Digital Reputation”
  • Explain:
  1. Your digital reputation is defined by your behaviours in the online environment and by the content that you post about yourself and others.
  2. Tagged photos, blog posts and social networking interactions will all shape how you are perceived by others online and offline, now and in the future.
  3. A poor digital reputation can affect your friendships, relationships and even your job prospects - so protect your digital reputation.
  • Ask students to open a word document
  • ask them to write down 2 ideas for ways to ensure a good “Digital Reputation”
  • Best answers:
  • How do I protect my digital reputation?
  1. Think before you post, send or blog!
  2. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  3. Set your profile to private—and check every now and then to make sure the settings haven’t changed.
  4. Keep an eye on photos tagged by your friends and remove ones that are offensive.
  5. Remember, online information could be there forever. Your personal information may end up being seen by people you don’t know, including potential employers.
  • Now students need collect their answers as a group
  • Move into groups of 4-5
  • each group will be given a piece of paper with a shared notepad URL from Qikpad
  • students go to webpage
  • as groups the students copy and paste their ideas to the shared notepad
  • as a group the students then remove repeated items
Having real friends
  • Statistics have shown that ¼ of friends that 12-15 year olds have on Facebook, they have never met
  • Ask students to work in their groups to come up with a list of reasons why it is important to only be friends on Social Networks with real friends
  • Use the same qikpad for quick collation of the information

I surveyed 70 Year 7's about Social Media and here are the results

So over the last week I decided to survey the Year 7 students, between 11 and 12 years old, at my school about social media. I was actually surprised by the results and you might too.

The first question was just whether they use Social Media: Qusteion 1 This one almost came down to a split of 50/50 which I found very interesting. It is certainly a larger percentage of students that do not use Social Media than I expected, very nice to see. Next was a multi selection question that attempted to discover the parental involvement in the students Social Media activity. It also gave an opportunity for the students who did not use Social Media to say whether it was through their choice or if their parents had not permitted them to do so. Here are the results: Question 2 I feel like every answer here was meaningful with many of the parents having good monitoring of their child. A large number actually knew their child’s password - brilliant, at the same time the same number did not monitor their child’s activity - :( . There was a strong showing for the non-users with many students saying that they were not interested in using Social Media - great for them. I suppose looking at the non-users it could also be seen that it was a 50/50 split between not wanting to use Social Media and not having parental permission. Finally 2 students felt that they used Social Media without their parents knowledge - naughty. The third question was to just further look into the peer pressure that students face with Social Media. I was quite clear with the students that I “peer pressure” many of my friends to use Social Media and we lol’d. Question 3 This one was very surprising, but maybe for the age group is correct, with more students believing that they have not been peer pressured into using Social Media. I would be very interested to see what this number if like as the students move into Years 8 and 9. So to wrap it up, I found this to be an interesting set of results, some of which I did not expect. The students also engaged in some very intelligent conversation about Social Media and I was able to see that these kids do know what’s going on and how to behave appropriately while using Social Media. Let me know what you think by adding a comment.