Teaching digital responsibility

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Keeping our young people, and for that matter ourselves, safe during our online experiences is a serious matter. As with most matters in education it comes down to knowing your students and using this knowledge to design effective learning experiences that build on what they already know.

The school where I have completed my P.E. is a Queensland government school and uses the Cybersafety strategies of the 5P’s, being:

“The 5 key messages that cover what is and isn’t okay when working online:

  1. Profiles—use a nickname and profile picture that doesn’t show your face
  2. Positive—make sure online information about you is as positive as possible
  3. Permission—make sure you have a grown-up’s permission to use a new site or app
  4. Privacy—keep your passwords and personal details secure
  5. Protect—keep evidence and don’t bully back, tell someone. (Queensland Government, 2015).

I feel these strategies may sound simple but are a very effective, and simple, tool to identifying key areas of online safety. These strategies can be systematically incorporated into computerlab sessions or as part of any learning experience involving the web.

Empowering students with an awareness of appropriate social behaviours and creating opportunities to role play some of the more common online scenarios will make them more aware of how potentially harmful situations might be avoided.

What proactive strategies do you use in your planning to teach digital responsibility?


Queensland Government, (2015). Cybersafety.  http://www.qld.gov.au/education/schools/health/cybersafety/

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