Melbourne Girls Grammar are pleased to be collaborating with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Office of the eSafetyCommissioner, Evolve Education, and Common Sense Media in the USA to take part in a research project.
The purpose of this research project is to trial CommonSense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum (UK version) in Australian schools. This curriculum contains lessons that teach children how to be safe, responsible and respectful online, including topics such as media balance and wellbeing; privacy and security; digital footprint and identity; relationships and communication; cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech; and news and media literacy. The curriculum has been shown to be effective with primary school aged children, in research conducted by Harvard University in the USA.The curriculum can be viewed at https://www.commonsense.org/education/uk/digital-citizenship.
The ideas and concepts covered in this research project will build on the previous lessons that students have undertaken whilst at school. MGGS staff from Morris Hall (Prep-4) and Wildfell (Years 5 and 6) have undertaken initial training so they can make effective use of this curriculum, and we envisage that students will complete the age-appropriate lessons throughout the first half of 2023. These Digital Citizenship lessons will be taught by classroom teachers during normal class time.
At the conclusion of the lessons, teachers will give all children an assessment quiz to test their knowledge and understanding of the concepts taught. A different quiz will be used for each year level (P-Year 6). It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. All children will complete the quiz, but the research team will collect quizzes only from children whose parents/carers consent to their participation in the research.There will also be an opportunity for small groups of students to take part in focus groups and provide further feedback to the research team. Parental consent will be sort prior to the Digital Citizenship lessons occurring.
MGGS is one of fifteen schools taking part in this research project, in reports, publications, or presentations, pseudonyms or codes will be used to protect school, teacher, and student identities. Organisations partnering with QUT will not have access to the data collected.
We look forward to sharing the overall findings of this research project with the MGGS community and the wider education community.