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The Federal Government has announced a scheme to introduce Cyber-Safety education into Australian schools. The program, to be run by Life Education Australia, has been implemented due to concerns about the growing usage of mobile phone and internet technology amongst school-age children, and the risks associated with such use.
Bullying has long been a problem for children and adults alike, but cyber-bullying introduces a whole new realm and risk to the problem. Specifically, cyber-bullying allows the bully to act from afar, which hinders the usual social inhibitions and restrictions, and enables the bully to act more outrageously. Cyber-bullying also lasts longer and travels further, particularly through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and so the risk of offense is greater and far less-containable.
Responsible Internet use, as well as the learning of strategies for dealing with cyber-bullying, is what Life Education Australia hopes to impart to children. The psychological impact of cyber-bullying, depending on its nature, can affect a person’s self-confidence, anxiety levels and capacity to develop normal relationships. These are impacts that a child will take with them into adulthood.
To find out more about the new scheme, click here.