A new cyberbullying episode of Hector's World&trade, hosted on the Cybersmart website (www.cybersmart.gov.au
) and targeted at Australian children, was launched today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. 'This newly created Hector's World episode explores the impact that cyberbullying can have and encourages children affected by cyberbullying to contact a trusted adult for help. This is a particularly effective approach in combating this difficult problem,' said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.
Hector's World&trade is the ACMA's flagship program for young children aged 2 to 10 years. It is an innovative and visually engaging education resource that takes children on a journey with Hector Protector, the bottlenose dolphin, and his marine friends to explore a range of online issues including protecting personal information and now, cyberbullying. Hector's World can be used both in the classroom environment and at home.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, welcomed the new addition to the ACMA's cybersafety initiatives.
'Education for young children is an important component of the Government's comprehensive approach to cybersafety. This program will help children to become more empowered cybercitizens as they enjoy the many benefits of the online world,' Senator Conroy said.
'Hector's World is an internationally-recognised online safety education resource and we are delighted to partner with New Zealand's Hector's World Limited, to create a new episode and bring these inspirational and engaging characters to Australian children,' said Mr Chapman.
Liz Butterfield, Managing Director of Hector's World Ltd says, 'Helping young children understand how to deal with cyberbullying is a key strategy in keeping children safe online. With children coming online at younger ages, it's important to get this message across early. Hector's World offers the 'building blocks' of the skills and values children need to become confident cybercitizens. It's a fun and appealing program that includes animations and associated lesson plans, song sheets and puzzles, all of which are popular with young children.'
Hector's World&trade is a visually appealing and effective online safety education program for children aged 2-10 years and their families. Hector's World Ltd is a charitable subsidiary of New Zealand's internet safety group, NetSafe.
Hector's World cyberbullying episode
In partnership with Hector's World Limited, the ACMA has developed a new Hector's World animation and music video addressing cyberbullying. Pitched at younger children, the interactive episode explores the impact that cyberbullying can have on someone and encourages targets of cyberbullying to contact a trusted adult for help. In this episode, two friends deface a photograph of one of the main Hector's World characters, Ming-a clam, and repeatedly forward the image to Ming and her circle of friends via mobile phone and the internet. The story encourages bystanders to see cyberbullying as unacceptable behaviour and to refrain from becoming involved.
All Hector's World episodes and support materials are hosted on the ACMA's new Cybersmart website (www.cybersmart.gov.au) which provides a range of information, activities, resources and practical advice to help young kids, kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world.
Cybersmart.gov.au, is currently the only Australian cybersafety resource that combines through a single access point, comprehensive information for children and young people of all ages, parents, teachers and library staff as well as a Schools Gateway.
The website is part of the Australian Government's broad cybersafety program.
The ACMA's Cybersafety initiatives
The ACMA provides a comprehensive national program of cybersafety initiatives as part of the Australian Government's cybersafety policy. The ACMA's program includes researching current trends in cybersafety, undertaking targeted information and awareness-raising campaigns and activities, and developing cybersafety education materials for use in schools.
The initiatives include:
* Developing cybersafety education materials for use in schools and at home. These programs are designed for children from 5 to 15 years and include Hector's World, CyberQuoll, CyberNetrix, Cybersmart Detectives and Wise up to IT.
* The Cybersafety Outreach program of Professional Development for Educators and general internet safety awareness presentations for parents, teachers and children.
* An online helpline service for young people who have experienced issues online, provided by Kids Helpline. The help service is available via the home page of the cybersmart website at www.cybersmart.gov.au
* A complaints hotline for members of the public to report offensive internet material. Visit: www.acma.gov.au/hotline.
* The Cybersafety Contact Centre offering callers information and advice about internet safety issues and concerns. Telephone 1800 880 176.
* Researching current trends in cybersafety and young people's use of online media.
* Undertaking targeted information and awareness-raising campaigns and activities, such as Safer Internet Day.