Cyber Smart or Safe?

How do we bring it all together?

To be cyber smart or cyber safe, which is better?

Is there a difference?

What should we be focussing on in relation to education and does the focus change when considering the age of the student? Or is it more about the amount of immersion and involvement one has had and is likely to have?

If we focus on just being cyber safe are we wrapping them up in cotton wool, are we focussing more on the negatives that the online world can offer?

How do we best prepare students for their life in a world that incorporates all manner of online involvement when we, the educators, are only just beginning to understand and use it for ourselves?

What part does modelling good practice play in this and if it is important, how do we do this well?

Image by Thad Zajdowicz


  1. Stephanie says:

    I think it comes down to effective teaching practices, scaffolding, modelling etc. Being on the internet is really no different to any public sphere, think about the processes that we go through with children at the supermarket. They are strapped in/on parents to start with. Then perhaps they might move to a seat, start walking with parents, perhaps start wandering off, making purchases by themselves, and then driving themselves to the mall!

  2. Boundsy says:

    I believe that being cyber smart is better than cyber safe. If you are cyber safe, all you are doing is being ignorant of the internet and all its possibilities. If you are cyber smart, you have access to everything but know what is wrong and what to do if something does go wrong. That is my opinion.

  3. It’s difficult for us to help kids be cyber smart when it is not the world of many adults. If as adults we are not immersed in the cyber world, we are not really in a good position to help our students. It would be a bit like getting an adult who has lived a tribal life in a remote location to walk across the CBD of Sydney. They would do well to survive themselves let alone help their little ones make that journey.

    As educators we owe it to our students to be cyber savvy, then we can help them be cyber smart and hopefully safe.

  4. benny says:

    Being a teenager its hard to be cyber safe. Be careful what you post on twitter, open chats and blog posts.

  5. Mandy Wenn says:

    A very interesting post. I agree with Michael that we owe it to our students to be savvy, constantly learning as much as possible. I would prefer my students to be ‘smart’, able to make informed choices to keep themselves safe. I am often surprised and disturbed by students’ naivete considering they are ‘digital natives’.

  6. dbatty1 says:

    Here is an interesting link it is titled Digital Citizenship – who will you be?

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