Netsafe embraces social networking: Learn, Guide, Protect

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A couple of weeks ago (August 26th 2010) I was lucky to be invited to a preview of NetSafe’s new cyber safety school initiative: Learn, Guide, Protect. I must admit to a certain frisson of negativity as I feared another ‘lock it down, lock ’em up’ solution. Instead, I was bowled over by the way that Netsafe has gone out and listened to what people would like, which has resulted in a superb conceptually shaped site where community members create the content, comments, feedback etc – and self-moderate. The idea is that educators develop “an online repository of material schools can use and adapt to promote a student-centred approach to digital citizenship and cyber safety” (Nancy Groh).

The site is still very much in its beta version (in the words of Sean Lyons, one of the key developers, beta = some things don’t work yet), but those that do work, work well. The resources members contribute are entitled ‘bits’ (and yes, there was general chuckling around this) for several reasons, not least because a posted ‘bit’ could be made up of several other resources, and have ideas for using the resources in a range of contexts. Community members can link to and embed resources, add tags (to their own and other members’ bits), edit, flag,  and also do more exciting things such as vote for, comment on and ‘remix’ other bits (which enables members to add to the original posting).

To give some background to the underpinnings of the initiative it’s worth looking at the Learn, Guide, Protect (LGP)  framework that gives the community space its name. The framework is designed “to help schools develop a culture of responsible, safe use of digital technologies” (Nancy Groh).

Learn, guide, protect

“The Learn Guide Protect framework has three components:

  • Learn: Bits designed for students to help them develop positive, ethical behaviours in cyberspace and build the skills and attributes of a good digital citizen,
  • Guide: Bits to help educators integrate the concepts of digital citizenship across into the curriculum all learning areas and into school culture,
  • Protect: Bits to guide senior school personnel in developing local policies and strategies on effective, safe use of technologies.

To get a more in depth insight into the Learn, Guide, Protect initiative, please click HERE.

Netsafe community (beta) space

Netsafe community (beta) space

Netsafe would be delighted if you visited and contributed to the Learn, Guide, Protect site. They will continue  to work on the site’s functionality, in particular for in preparation for the  launch in October at Ulearn in Christchurch.  Please feel free to also offer Netsafe feedback over the next few weeks, as it is vital.

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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