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May 27, 2020 - No Comments!

STEPS TO KEEPING KIDS SAFE ONLINE

Just like other environments where you allow your children to play (like the park, school or at a friend's house) the internet can be a really enjoyable space to explore, learn and compete. Left unsupervised though, there are also many dangers that children need help to navigate.

Always remain actively involved in your children’s digital and day-to-day lives and communicate openly. If your child is using devices for school, has a mobile phone, or uses gaming systems; it’s time to have a conversation with them about internet safety.

In order to support your child through their online experiences, there are several tips that we think are worth remembering to help protect your child!

  • Keep connected. It’s so important your child feels safe and connected to family members. The more connected and safe they feel with family, the more comfortable they will be to discuss issues, including issues they encounter online. In contrast, the more disconnected they feel from parents/family, things have potential to start becoming secretive, and they may seek affirmation, connection, and relationships outside of the home for that connection.
  • Have open conversations with your child about the dangers of the internet and how to practice online safety. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T to help you!
  • Work together with your child to establish internet guidelines. Don’t just give a list of “don’t do this or that,” have a conversation with your child, teaching them why. You may consider signing a contract with your child about the agreed upon rules for online use. We suggest covering these topics:

-What apps/sites can be visited? What apps and/or sites are off limits?
-Where can they use their devices? Should they limit their internet use to general spaces?
-Who needs to be present when they use the internet? Do they need parental supervision?
-When and for how long can they be on their device? Do they need to limit screen time to certain hours/times of day

  • Make the most of parental controls to help monitor and protect online activity. Regularly check posts, messages, texts, etc.

To parents who are just starting out on this journey with your kids, one ZOE staff member shared, “Even though I have been working in this area for years, I recall that when we started this process, it was quite overwhelming. It takes time for you to establish guidelines, find software that helps show their activity, and time for you to monitor and check-in with your child… No matter what software you use, it is not set and forget! Initially we used the free version of Qustodio to help us set up simple daily time time limits. Apple also has great parental control software.”

  • If you notice behavior changes in your child, such as isolating themselves, becoming secretive about their phone, or wanting to spend more time in their room with a device, ask your child what’s going on, without judgement or punishment.
  • If you discover your child has been interacting with a potentially dangerous person or content, don’t panic! Be a safe place for your child. Break off contact — stop talking and stop replying. Criminal activity, including explicit photos or text messages, should be saved and taken to the police for investigation. Report any illegal activity to law enforcement. 

As in all areas of parenting, be aware and be vigilant so that each online experience your children have is fun, and safe!

May 14, 2020 - No Comments!

CHAPEL

Are you a secondary school chaplain, Christian Studies teacher, youth leader or parent of a teenager?  Are you looking for fresh ways to help develop the spiritual growth of the young people you’re investing in?

ZOE wants to help you! We have created a relevant and thought-provoking online lesson to engage your teenagers.

We understand that with the current restrictions you haven’t been able to meet as you normally would, so we've made an online chapel service for you!

Though there’s no music or singing, there is a powerful message that explores God's heart for the marginalised, and an encouragement for a personal response to the issue of modern slavery.

We want young people, Australia-wide, to continue to be able to learn and grow right in their own homes. We trust that this engaging mix of video footage, speakers, and a call to action, is a tool that will equip you in this time of “online” connection.

We have also developed a fillable ‘Student Response’ sheet to give you the option of receiving feedback from your students and any follow-up questions or thoughts that they might have.  

If you'd like to download these FREE innovative resources, please contact our Development and Advocacy Coordinator, Brett, at brett@gozoe.org.au.

 

September 12, 2019 - No Comments!

Curriculum Update

ZOE Australia updated their Year 10 Geographies of Human Wellbeing curriculum this month in order to give it out for free to teachers at the annual GTAV (Geography Teachers Association of Victoria) conference – held at the Exhibition Centre in Melbourne.

Sharon (ZOE Australia Office Manager) and Andrea (Thailand field worker) were both so happy with the result of handing the curriculum to 100 different Geography teachers from schools all over the state, as well as hearing many positive comments from teachers who were already using it in their schools.

The lesson plans are based on a case study of a Burmese girl who was forced to work in a begging ring. Students follow her story from her kidnap in Myanmar through her experiences in Thailand and her eventual repatriation with her family. This is based on an actual case although some of the details have been changed to protect the girl’s identity.

This unit examines the different concepts and measures of human wellbeing, and the causes of global differences in these measures between countries. Students explore spatial differences in wellbeing within and between countries, and evaluate the differences from a variety of perspectives.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in also obtaining the Year 9 or Year 10 FREE curriculum for your class or school, please go to this link to see our latest updated version!

“Geography, when well taught, allows students to understand their world, and especially how the human and physical environments interact. It is this understanding that will allow them to see and shape their future – to find ways to come to grips with future challenges.”
(An excerpt from Tim Costello’s Inspirational Address at the GTAV Annual Conference)

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