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Give a hoot? Wise words on privacy Sharyn Leonard
28 August 2014

Head Owl lo res

Keeping children safe on the internet is a difficult task in today’s rapidly evolving technological world. To make it easier, the Privacy Commissioner in conjunction with Netsafe and supported by the NZ National Commission for UNESCO, has developed an online privacy resource to do just that.   

OWLS – an acronym for “Own your information”, “Wait and feel free to ask someone else”, “Lock your stuff” and “Safety first” - is a series of 24 modules on different aspects of managing personal information online for primary and intermediate-aged children. 

The programme, developed in consultation with teachers, has a selection of modules which can be adapted to fit in with existing classroom work or used as a complete cyber-education programme.

Children experiment in digital media from very young ages and OWLS was developed to help wise online behaviour.

Topics covered include: Social media sites are public places; sharing your location isn’t always the best thing to do; treat your phone as carefully as you treat your money; and who are you really talking to? Each module’s content has questions to be explored, activities and resources.

Launched in February this year, the material is available at http://netsafe.org.nz/owls/.

We’ve received positive comments from schools about OWLS. Here are just a few of them:

“All my team liked the resource and it will be an integral part of our plan...”

“Generates lots of discussion – children get excited and are keen to share their experiences”.

“Inspiration for senior classes to create a performance “Stop the Cyber Blues”.

“…OWLS included in long term plan – a branch per term, a leaf per week”.

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