Cybersafety workshops in school
In the context of information and awareness about Cybersafety, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) organized experiential workshops for 55 teachers and students, in June. Specifically, teachers and 10-12 aged students attended Cybersafety courses in their school environment. The main purpose of the courses was to spread awareness and show the teachers how to provide guidance and help the students to understand the online social network dangers and teach them how to cope with them appropriately. Furthermore, both the teachers and the students were informed about the latest technological findings that can help them in addressing the online threats towards a safer social network life.
The workshop started with a discussion about the usefulness and the value of joining social network platforms and how people use them in their daily life, nowadays. In addition to all the benefits of online social networks, the participants learned about the dangers and risks one may encounter by joining them. Some of the issues addressed were Cyberbullying, sexual harassment, personal information leakage, fake accounts, exposure to inappropriate content etc.
An advisory session followed, where representatives of CUT presented risk avoidance and handling techniques. With this occasion teachers and students discovered some easy steps to keep their profiles private and protected. Additionally, the students were advised on how to react to the online threats that might occur and were pointed to the important role of the teacher in helping them to cope with these risks. Lastly, the teachers and the students were presented with the latest technology cybersafety tools that can help enhance online safety while using social network platforms.
Finally, during the experiential workshops, the participants had the chance to interact with “Cybersafety Family Advice Suite” (CFAS), a suite of cybersafety tools designed by CUT lab. The tools promote the collaboration of minors and their custodians to monitor, filter, block inappropriate content in online social media platforms, and detect incidences of online risks such as cyberbullying, sexual harassment, etc.
During the workshops, 16 students responded to an evaluation questionnaire about the “CFAS” tools. Some important generic observations are presented below. They help us in a better understanding of the characteristics of the group, their online “habits” and knowledge about the cyber related risks, thus allowing us to tailor the tools and the associated materials to their needs, in a better way.
- The majority of children have their own account in online social media. Additionally, several of the participants responded as not having their own account but noting that they join the online social media networks through their parents’ accounts.
- All participants reported having a Youtube account, followed by Instagram (50%), Snapchat (40%) and Tiktok (30%). Viber (20%) and Facebook (10%) which was less used by minors of this age. These results indicate the urgent need to design cybersafety tools that are compatible with multiple social media platforms.
- Minors are well aware of the online risks other people have experienced while using social media. Those results show that minors have in mind many risks that may be encountered in social media platforms.
- Minors believe that cybersafety tools can enhance their online safety while using online social platforms. That shows that minors are aware of and can understand the usefulness of such tools in improving their online experience.
Based on the students’ evaluation of the CFAS tool, the platform is planned to be redesigned as to add the role of the teacher in the suite and make it suitable to be also used in the school environment.
Are you a teacher interested to test the “Cybersafety Family Advice Suite” (CFAS) tool with your students? If yes, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in contact with you.
More details on the workshops: https://netsysci.cut.ac.cy/a-cybersafety-meeting-with-aradippou-a-primary-school-students/