Since its formation in 1996, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has found countless ways to make sure children experience the safe and happy childhoods that is their right. One of their early programs to pair first-year primary students with older buddies who could protect the younger kids from bullying is now over 1,700 schools country-wide.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation's mission hasn't changed, but the technology that our children use has. Today every classroom has computers, and children often bring tablets and smartphones to school. This would have seemed unimaginably futuristic when the foundation first began. The internet expands the scope for children to explore and learn, but it also compels us to teach them new responsibilities and new ways to stay safe.
We’re proud to announce a partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to provide an eSmart Digital Licence to every grade six student in Australia, almost 300,000 school children. This new initiative, aimed at ten-year-olds and above, leads children through an interactive course on how to be smart, safe and responsible digital citizens. They'll learn what's OK to share online with friends, how to use the web safely, how to deal with cyberbullies and how to act responsibly themselves.
Our $1.2 million grant will make this course free for every Australian student in their final year of primary school -- offering a licence to 300,000 school children across the country.
The eSmart Digital Licence is an innovative way to teach safety skills to children that many adults had to figure out themselves, sometimes the hard way. We hope that parents and teachers will be able to sit down with their children and work towards a digital licence together, promoting important conversations along the way.
Teachers of Grade 6 students at any Australian school can sign up to access the free digital licences in 2015 for their students at www.digitallicence.com.au.
The Internet is a great place for kids to learn, be creative and connected. We’re proud to invest in giving young Australians the skills they need to stay safe and smart online.
Posted by Maile Carnegie, Managing Director of Google Australia & New Zealand