Free professional development available for ECEC educators to keep children safe online
Professional development supporting the resources from the Playing IT Safe initiative are now available to support early childhood educators to teach preschoolers basic online safety through play-based learning.
The delivery of the workshops is supported by Gandel Philanthropy, with the workshops arising from the collaboration between the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, the Australian Federal Police and the eSafety Commissioner, and in conjunction with leading academics and early childhood teachers.
Gandel Philanthropy CEO, Vedran Drakulic OAM said the trustees of the foundation were convinced that supporting this initiative was important for the wellbeing of children, and that the platform “has the potential to form a strong basis for a more humane, kinder and more respectful internet culture.”
“It’s vitally important they will be a generation who understands the ways technology works and will come to it with empathy, kindness and compassion. The way we can do that is to start early, and to be guided by quality resources like Playing IT Safe” he added.
The Playing IT Safe web portal hosts play-based activities, games and resources for early learning educators, parents and carers to use when introducing technology and online safety to young children. The portal’s resources use play to teach children about what the internet is, how messages and photos are shared and who to go to if they feel scared or need help when using technology.
The Foundation’s digital innovation specialist, Dan Donahoo, said the workshops which support the portal and its resources “are essential for early childhood educators to confidently and effectively incorporate Playing IT Safe into their educational and care environments.”
Gandel Philanthropy is funding the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to conduct the pilot professional development workshops for 500 educators and 7,500 children.
The Foundation’s CEO, Lesley Podesta, said that now, more than ever, it’s important for young children to understand what technology is, how and why it’s used and how to do that in safe and appropriate ways.
“We know children are now online before they can even read. Our children need to explore and learn safely, and these resources will help them play online in ways that will give them the skills they need to be safe and smart” she added.
For more information and to register for the workshops, please see here.