Cyber citizenship program

Good citizenship is not limited to our acts in the real world.

That is the message students at Cumberland High School have been spreading as part of an innovative social media program being run by students for students.

The Digital Citizenship Program was developed by PDHPE (personal development, health and physical education) head teacher Clarinda Brown and is now in its third year.

Since the introduction of the program, instances of online issues have reduced significantly.

The program involves student workshops for all students in Years 7-11 that are entirely taught by student leaders.

Ms Brown said students volunteered to take on a leadership position and be role models for their peers.

They presented workshop activities designed to show students how to behave in a safe, respectful and responsible manner in the online world, in the same way they were expected to behave in the real world, she said.

These workshops were designed to encourage students to engage in safe practices in an online environment, at school and at home, and included topics such as being chat smart, online profile safety and illegal downloads.

Year 8 student leader Dusanka Momcilovic said it was important to ensure students understood some of the pitfalls of social media.

"Our job is to make people aware of what happens online, to avoid bad situations and how to act positively," Dusanka said.

The school had also embraced online technology to help it better communicate with students, staff, parents and community.

It had recently launched a new website and had embraced Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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