November 2, 2010

Roar recommendations to Cyber-Safety Inquiry

Roar recommendations to Cyber-Safety Inquiry

Here’s a summary of our recommendations to the Australian Government’s Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety.  Our full submission may be downloaded below.

1.  Cyber-safety education needs to be mandated, and supported in real ways.  In order to genuinely safeguard children and young people online, cyber-safety education must be provided for children and young people, their parents, carers and families, and their teachers and school staff.

2.  We submit that it is the proper role of government to establish educational standards – standards for cyber-safeguarding, and the safe, responsible use of digital technologies.  Standards are necessary for evidence-based initiatives and programs.  Given the health and personal safety implications, agreed standards for cyber-safeguarding need to be a priority of government.  We recommend that government in consultation with stakeholders establish educational standards for cyber-safeguarding and the safe, ethical and responsible use of digital technologies.

3.  We also recommend that government consider ways to coordinate across the relevant departments and agencies (DBCDE, DEEWR, ACMA, and AMF) so cyber-safety policies and programs are no longer siloed.

4.  Beyond the establishment of educational standards and coordination of departments and agencies, government might then step back and allow the market more room to contribute cyber-risk solutions.  We argue that Roar (and other education software developers) are well placed to efficiently and cost-effectively serve the cyber-safety education market.  After all, government sets road rules and minimum standards for safe, responsible road use, but government doesn’t actually teach motorists to drive.

In the UK there are abundant free resources made available to schools, yet Roar has still been able to sell product to more than 40 per cent of government schools.  Why?  Roar has brought cyber-safety into the domain of citizenship and digital literacy:  promoting safe, ethical, responsible use of digital technologies as the social norm online.  Roar’s content is dynamic and updated regularly.  And its modest cost per child represents value for money.

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