About Cyber Wellness
In alignment with MOE Cyber Wellness Framework, which focuses on developing the pupil’s instinct to protect and empower them to take responsibility for their well being in cyberspace, the ICT department is continually infusing Cyber Wellness into the curriculum.
Cyber Wellness refers to the positive well being of Internet users. It involves an understanding of the risks of harmful online behaviour, an awareness of how to protect oneself and other Internet users from such behaviour.
Geylang Methodist School (Primary) harnesses ICT to aid in the Teaching and Learning of pupils. This means that as pupils are engaged in activities over the exciting world of the Internet, they are able to search for information or even chat with friends at the click of a mouse. At times, they are required to key in personal information and they may not be aware of the potential dangers present.
Thus, pupils need to learn how to act so that they can function in a safe environment. In addition, they need to learn to demonstrate proper net etiquette – use of appropriate language, show mutual respect and responding appropriately when encountering illegal or unsuitable materials on the Internet. They also need to be taught intellectual property and comply with copyright laws and regulations.
The Cyber Wellness Framework
The Framework focuses on developing the child’s instinct to protect himself and empower him to take responsibility for his own well being in cyberspace. Thus, this framework highlights two principles to guide pupils in their actions, describes a 3-step process to explore cyber wellness issues and encourages schools to partner parents in promoting cyber wellness among pupils
The two principles, “Respect for Self and Others” and “Safe and Responsible Use” when adhered to will anchor pupils’ well being in cyberspace as they will then be able to make careful and well-considered decisions.
- Respect for Self and Others
Pupils need to
- uphold their own dignity when online (e.g. avoid surfing inappropriate sites and participating in illegal online activities)
- respect others (e.g. avoid using the work of others without permission and publishing undesirable materials that hurt others).
Pupils need to
- have an understanding of the risks of harmful and illegal online behaviours, and learn how to protect themselves as well as to avoid dangers they may encounter online.
- be able to evaluate the consequences of their decisions/behaviours while online and make responsible choices to protect themselves and the community (e.g. not spending excessive amount of time chatting or playing games online, and reporting victims of cyberbullying to a trusted adult/authority).
Learning Cycle (Process)
The process of Sense, Think and Act serves to highlight the stages that a pupil should undergo to prepare himself/herself to self-manage in cyberspace. The process could serve as a heuristic device to help teachers organise lessons on cyber wellness topics.
Sense - The first step in inculcating these principles is to create cyber awareness among the pupils. Pupils should be able to “sense” the risks of harmful behaviours online and learn how to manage such risks as well as protect themselves from the dangers.
Think - To develop pupils’ ability to respond to new encounters in cyberspace, it is important to provide opportunities for pupils to analyse, evaluate and reflect on Cyber Wellness issues.
Act - Pupils should eventually translate their understanding into actions that will keep them safe while online.
Pupils should always “be aware”, “think” before “acting” while they are online. Therefore, “Sense, Think and Act” is a simple learning cycle for pupils to adopt. Schools should reinforce this process when delivering their Cyber Wellness programmes.
To ensure more effective inculcation of these principles in pupils, GMSP is actively involved in partnering parents by conducting workshops so as to provide parents with the awareness of potential dangers on the Internet and to develop guideline to create a safe learning environment for the pupils.
Parents may wish to download C-Quest, a new mobile app by MOE to promote conversations about Cyber Wellness between parents and children. Click here for more information.
Parents may also wish to visit the following website for more Cyber Wellness tips.