Posts Tagged ‘Cyber Safety’

The Great Influencer in the Anti-Bullying Space

January 12, 2020


The anti-bullying maestro does it again!

Mike Feuerstein, the award-winning filmmaker who travels from school to school armed with his extensive knowledge about empowering children and using the craft of film for the greater good, has struck gold again.

Mike works with classes of non-professional Primary school-aged actors on film scripts that he bases loosely on the real-life experiences of the very children he works with. This makes the final product not only thoroughly entertaining but insightful, relevant and a real game-changer in getting children to reflect on poor habits and the likely consequences of their actions.

In his latest trilogy, Mediasphere, Feuerstein’s focus is social media addiction and the tendency for the fake world of likes and influencer rankings to take over. In the first instalment, cleverly titled Pop Polarity (the other two segments will be reviewed over the next few weeks), a new girl in a school that values social media presence over the real person and the qualities that make them unique is made to decide whether she wants to play by the rules or maintain her sense of self and dignity. This oddball school, where even the Principal is far less interested in academic progress than Twitter followers, cleverly plays on society’s false priorities and allows children to observe how absurd online behaviour can be.

I have had the good fortune to collaborate with and befriend Mike over the last decade and remain a huge admirer of his work. Over the course of my career, I have encountered my fair share of anti-bullying and cyber safety programs. None has come close to Mike’s How to UnMake a Bully series for effectiveness, artistry and student engagement.

Below is the movie. I urge you to show this and all his other movies to your class.



Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Shaming Students is Never the Answer

October 7, 2014



If you really cared about the welfare of your students you would never shame them, even in order to make a point. If I became aware that a student’s profile picture was inappropriate I would deal with it thoughtfully and discreetly.

Not like this:


A 15-year-old says she was humiliated by a teacher who showed an enlarged picture of her in a bikini to more than 100 other students during a school assembly.

Children at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, were shown the photograph taken from her Facebook profile to illustrate the pitfalls of posting private images online.

Unknown to the schoolgirl, who has not been named, staff had taken her swimwear photo off the internet.

It was blown up and added to a portfolio of other pictures then shown during a packed school assembly.

The shock tactic at the 1327-pupil specialist arts school left the girl distraught.

Her mother, who has now made an official complaint to Ofsted, said: ‘They took the photo from her Facebook profile – she put it on there last year.

‘They used other photos of kids from the neck up but for some reason they thought it was OK to use a picture of my daughter in her bikini.

‘Why did they have to use an image like that to make their point. Then they pointed her out in the assembly. She was really upset.

The teachers should have shown the students this instead.

The Perfect Cyber Safety Clip for Parents to Watch With Their Kids

August 3, 2014


I know I have posted this film before, but with the ongoing issues of social media and child safety, I think it is more apt than ever.


Click on the link to read 5 Internet Safety Rules to Share With Your Kids

Click on the link to read Introducing the App that will Give Parents Nightmares

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture

5 Internet Safety Rules to Share With Your Kids

July 29, 2013



Courtesy of Millionaire Hoy:


1. Never give out any personal information

The internet can be a very misleading place for a child. When they think of the internet, they think of games, funny video and pictures, and having a great time; not internet predators. Internet predators leverage the happy perception children have of the internet and come off as nice people in order to pry information from unsuspecting children. Let your children know that they should never share their real name, address, school, city, parent’s information, or any clues that can lead an identity thief or pedophile to your child.

2. Downloading is off limits without supervision

Downloading is one of the most popular activities on the internet, but it can be dangerous. Make sure your children understand that while downloading wanted files, they might be downloading unwanted things as well. Virus authors, identity thieves, and online con artists know that parents are hip to most of their tricks and are now targeting free children’s gaming sites, because they can easily fool children. Let your children know that they never allowed to download files unless you are there to monitor their downloading.

3. Strangers are still strangers even if they are online

As I stated earlier, children look at the internet in a very different way than adults and children make friends very easily. It’s likely that your children know not to talk to strangers in the real world, but online adults can pose as children. It may be hard for your children to understand this and they might not even be aware why an adult would want to pose as a child. Let your children know to be suspicious when making friends online and tell them to let you know any time they make a new friend.

4. Keep your passwords private

If your child makes a friend online, they might be led to do things that they wouldn’t do, if not for the sake of friendship. A child might feel that they are betraying their child if they don’t do what’s asked and online predators will take advantage of this situation. It’s important that your child never reveal their online passwords because online scammers can compromise their accounts and gain private information associated with the account.

5. Bring any suspicious or uncomfortable information to your parents

If your child encounters something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or someone that makes them feel pressured, it’s important that they know to bring it to your attention immediately. If your child is sent pictures in poor taste, contacted by someone that’s asking uncomfortable questions, see something disturbing online, or are linked to a strange website, they need to know to stop what they are doing immediately and let you know about the situation.


Click on the link to read Introducing the App that will Give Parents Nightmares

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture

How Can Facebook Allow James Holmes Tribute Pages?

July 26, 2012

How can we trust Facebook to help us fight cyberbullying if they can’t even ban tribute pages to a murderer? How can we trust Facebook to protect our children from online predators when they can’t stop online propaganda championing a sick murderer? How can we trust Facebook when they claim to be enforcing their age restriction policy when they can’t even take a common sense approach to getting rid of James Holmes tribute pages?

I have no trust in Facebook!

While Facebook pages paying tribute to James Holmes — the alleged shooter in the attacks in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last week during the premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises— may violate all standards of common decency, they apparently do not violate Facebook’s terms of service.

CNN reported that a “few-dozen” such pages have sprung up over the past week, including one with more than 800 likes.

The social network is caught in a no-win situation in cases such as this: If it removes the pages, it is accused of violating free-speech rights. And if it allows the pages to exist, users complain that it allows distasteful, hateful content on its network.

Facebook Spokesman Fred Wolens told CNN that the pages, “while incredibly distasteful, don’t violate our terms,” adding that “credible threats” against specific people or content with the potential to incite violence would be grounds for the deletion of pages.

The free speech argument must be used only within the confines of common sense. Facebook should be ashamed of themselves!

Click on the link to read Don’t Even Try to Huminise James Holmes

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Facebook’s Age Restictions are a Joke

Click on the link to read Facebook and Child Exploitation

Why are so Many Teachers Child Predators?

July 8, 2012

It’s a disgrace that so many predators are registered teachers. Every day at least one pedophile teacher is uncovered.

Take this latest allegation for example:

A HIGH school teacher allegedly obtained naked and semi-naked pictures of two 14-year-old girl students at his school after posing as a teenage boy on a fake Facebook profile.

It is understood police will allege the country teacher pretended to be a schoolboy of a similar age from another regional town in a ploy to prey on the girls.

The students are believed to have sent him naked and semi-naked photos of themselves via the social networking site.

The teacher, who has been sacked and cannot be named for legal reasons, faced court this week on two counts of involving a child in child exploitation.

Until now, The Sunday Times has been prevented from publishing any details of the case.

After successfully challenging the terms of the original suppression order on the case, The Sunday Times is now permitted to reveal certain aspects of the allegations, which have prompted a warning from cyber safety experts for parents to educate their children about the importance of safety settings on Facebook for the coming school holidays, which started yesterday.

This is why I am a strong proponent of the no contact rule in schools. Whilst the vast majority of teachers are good citizens, there are still too many sick, evil predators still to be exposed.

Click here to read my post, “Why Can’t Teachers Touch Kids any More? :O’Brien”.

Protecting Your Kids on the Internet

June 13, 2012

Seven very helpful tips on protecting your children online courtesy of expert Dr. Leigh Baker:

1.  Spend time with your child on the computer. Put the computer in a place that can be easily accessed by the entire family. Use the Internet with your child to play games, plan for a family vacation, or learn about new places and people. Ask your child to teach you more about the computer and to show you certain tricks he or she may have learned. Not only will you gain computer knowledge, you will also get valuable information on just how savvy your child is on the computer. Make sure to ask your child what he or she likes on the Internet and to show you favorite sites.

2.  Let your child know that you will be periodically watching and monitoring his or her online activities. (Internet security software from companies like OnlineFamily.Norton often include parental controls that can help you encourage safe surfing.)

3.  Share an online pseudonym, password, and email account with your child. In this way, you can monitor online correspondences and the Internet sites that your child has accessed.

4.  Never, under any circumstances, allow your child to have face-to-face contact with someone they met online without your permission. If you agree to the meeting, accompany your child and arrange for it to take place in public.

5.  Don’t allow your child to go into private chat rooms without your permission and supervision.

6.  Monitor your credit card bill. Many pornographic online vendors require credit cards in order to have access to their sites.

7.  Alert your Internet provider if you or your child come across sexually obscene material.

I hope this proves helpful.

The Overwhelming Challenge of Supervising Childrens’ Online Activity

April 25, 2012

There used to be a standard rule for parents about supervising their childrens’ internet surfing – make sure you take the computer out of their bedroom and into the living room. No longer does this rule work. With the introduction of 3G and 4G technology, lap tops, smartphones and mobile gaming consoles which all connect to the internet, our children can be online without even using a computer.

The challenges for parents are becoming so difficult:

An Ofcom study last year found that 91 per cent of children live in a household with internet access, but that only half of parents of five to 15-year-olds supervised their children’s internet use. A further three million children aged eight to 15 have a smartphone, according to a YouGov survey published in January.

Increasingly, there are fears about the content children are accessing, whether deliberately or by mistake, when they are unsupervised online.

Last week, a cross-party group of MPs warned that it was too easy for children to view pornography. They called for legislation to force internet providers to block access automatically to pornographic websites.

The potential for teenagers to outwit their parents is frequently used as an argument for network-level filtering. Its supporters argue that too many parents lack the technical know-how to secure their computers properly and too few will opt in to a filtering system that is not compulsory.

Set against that are free speech concerns: is it right that an internet provider decides which content is acceptable to be viewed and which should be banned? How do they decide what constitutes “adult” content – and what happens if they get it wrong?

Further, as Nicholas Lansman, of the Internet Service Providers Association, argues, such technology can give parents a false sense of security, leading to less active monitoring of what children are up to online. Filters can fail or be circumvented, and left to their own devices, teenagers will find a way to get what they want.

Technology can help but it can only go so far. Parents must set boundaries and discuss the risks with their children.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, says: “It is very important to talk to your child about being safe online, taking them through the risks and what they mean. This includes not just your home PC, but anywhere where internet access is involved – including mobile phones and game consoles.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions to get a sense of what they are getting up to online.”

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