Alannah and Madeline Foundation partner with Google to offer every grade 6 student a Digital Licence to hone their online skills

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation today launched the eSmart Digital Licence, a new initiative to help protect children from online risks such as cyberbullying and accessing inappropriate content. 
  The Digital Licence will be made available to every grade 6 student in Australia in 2015, thanks to a grant of over $1.2 million from Google. 
  The online challenge uses quizzes, videos and games to prepare Australian children (aged 10 and over) to be smart, safe and responsible digital citizens. 
  Children will complete eight learning modules which evaluate their comprehension of key technology and cybersafety topics, and equip them with the knowledge and skills they require to learn, play and socialise online. Each module takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. 
  Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, said the Digital Licence will not only teach core digital skills, but will promote conversations about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers. 
  “It is so important for adults to have regular conversations about what’s going on in their child’s online world,” she said. 
  “We know that almost nine in every ten 10-11 year olds say parents are their first port of call when they have an online safety issue. However, many parents feel ill-equipped to advise their children and say they need support.” 
  “By taking the quiz together, parents are prompted to begin conversations with children about what they are doing online, which is one of the most effective ways to keep children safe. At the same time, parents will have peace of mind through knowing their children are learning the core skills to manage risks and keep themselves safe online.” 
  Maile Carnegie, Managing Director, Google Australia and New Zealand, said Google had committed to make the Digital Licence available to every grade 6 student in Australia, as it is such an important transitional stage in the way that children engage online.
  “The web is a great place for kids to learn, be creative and stay connected. It's important that we invest in giving young Australians the skills they need to stay safe and smart online. The eSmart Digital Licence is an innovative way of bringing critical online safety skills to families and young people." 
  Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, congratulated The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Google for the initiative. 
  “With one in five young Australians found to be victims of cyberbullying each year, we must do more to keep children safe online,” Mr Fletcher said. 
  “The Abbott Government has introduced the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill into Parliament, and has committed $10 million in the Budget towards tackling cyberbullying. Non-Government Organisations and technology companies play a very important role in this area, and I commend The Alannah and Foundation and Google for their work on the Digital Licence – an initiative which will help keep kids safe online.” 
  With Google’s financial support, the eSmart Digital Licence is available free to the almost 300,000 grade 6 students in Australia in 2015, via their classroom teacher. Teachers can sign up to access the free Digital Licences for their students at www.digitallicence.com.au
  The Alannah and Madeline Foundation aims to provide scholarships to as many disadvantaged and vulnerable children as possible throughout 2015. Information on how you can make a donation to support a child to undertake the Digital Licence is available at www.digitallicence.com.au 
 
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