The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is committed to empowering all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online.The Office was established in 2015 with a mandate to coordinate and lead the online safety efforts across government, industry and the not-for profit community.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has recently released a new portal called iParent. This is a great resource for parents to get up-to-date date information on all aspects of the digital environment and ideas on how your child can have safe and enjoyable online experience. Click here to view the iParent page.
Below is an article that may interest some of families in realtion to the Fortnite:
Working with kids in schools these past weeks, and indeed having five children of my own, has alerted me to the seemingly unprecedented obsession with the new online game Fortnite. Not since Pokémon Go has something seemed to take the world by storm, leaving parents wondering when it will ever stop.
The answer to that last question is probably that it will stop when the next big thing comes along. These fads may well be a modern day version of the Rubik’s Cube, elastics or swap cards, though of course the effects of the obsession can be much more pervasive than with my childhood obsession with PacMan.
If Fortnite is the latest craze to hit your household, or you are being nagged and cajoled to let them have the game “that everyone else is playing”, then here are a few things you should know:
As with any new game, social network or fad, it is crucial that we familiarise ourselves with it. Have a game with them, play around with the app or read about what the possible dangers may be so that you can have the right conversations and put the right boundaries in place. By watching the game being played, you will have a far greater understanding of what your children are being exposed to and can then make decisions, based on our own values, about whether the game is appropriate for your child and whether you believe they are developmentally ready.
Whilst there are certainly many areas of video gaming to be concerned about, it is also important to recognise that most video games can build skills and can also have social, emotional and cognitive benefits.
Benefits of video games
Social and emotional effects: Playing video games after a challenging day at school can provide relaxation and stress release and is a great way for some kids to unwind. Finding a place to fit in or belong may also be a benefit, particularly for those kids who don’t excel on the sporting field or who struggle in other social settings, etc. A lot of group work is used in these games and thus skills in cooperation, leadership, group work and collaboration may also be enhanced.
Physical benefits: Hand/eye coordination skills are developed as well as greater spatial awareness and recognition.
Cognitive skills: Thinking and analysing skills are certainly being developed through game play, as are persistence and thinking outside the box. Trial and error is often required in order to find the way to the next level, survive with limited ammo or create a structure with varying materials.
Now of course in order to enjoy these benefits parents need to ensure that gaming remains under control and that the games being played are at an appropriate level for their child.
Things to keep in mind
Remember that every child is different and so the effects that gaming has on each child will be different. As parents we also have our own values and beliefs about what is important to us so be sure these are not being compromised. The key to enjoying a positive experience with whatever game or craze comes your way is to ensure your child maintains control over their play, that they are playing safely and that they are still leaving plenty of time to do all of the many other things they need to experience on any given day.
About Martine Oglethorpe
Martine Oglethorpe is an accredited speaker with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and has presented to numerous parent groups, schools and teachers. She is a speaker, counsellor and educator with a passion for building resilient kids in a digital world. Contact details: email@example.com, themodernparent.net, facebook.com/themodernparent
Recent Parent Survey – Child Safety
Thank you to the 280 parents who assisted the College with filling in the recent survey from the Child Safety Committee on the topic of bullying. Parents were asked to let the College know about the experiences their child has had at school in relation to bullying, and how the College dealt with the incidents. It was clear from the survey that the College has many protective measures in place to address the issue of bullying, however, as always, we can improve. One significant area for improvement is our communication with parents as bullying is being investigated and follow up to see if the victim is feeling safe.
Read an update from Acting Principal, Mrs Angela Romano
An update from our Principal, Mr Mark Brockhus, as we prepare to commence the 2019 school year.
Cricket great, Darren Lehmann, visited last week as part of our Ashes Oval Redevelopment Project and our Father's Day Breakfast