Online quiz launched to boost kids’ cyber safety

An online quiz has been launched to arm New Zealand students with the digital skills they need to be safe and smart online.

The interactive online quiz called Digital Licence will teach students how to react if they are exposed to inappropriate and offensive content online or encounter cyber bullying.

It also highlights the consequences of sharing private information online.

It explored the effects of racist comments, how long photos stay online once posted, what do with “nasty gossip” and deleting past posts.

The programme was launched on Tuesday at an X Factor-like game show at Point England school hosted by New Zealand reality show host Dominic Bowden.

The software was developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to keeping children safe from violence and bullying.

The foundation partnered with Google New Zealand to make the licence freely available to year eight and nine students around the country.

Alannah and Madeline Foundation chief executive Lesley Podesta said with children spending more time online it made sense for them to learn how to be safe and smart.

She said it was like learning to swim.

Just as swimming teachers don’t throw children off the cliff and tell them ‘drown or swim’, students using the internet had to be guided, she said.

“The quiz steps you through all the risks so that you can swim safely on the waters of the internet.”

Podesta said the quiz would begin with year eight and nines in New Zealand because this version of the quiz explored controversial material and explicit images.

“We want most families to feel positive about kids doing the quiz,” Podesta said.

Point England School principal Russell Burt said the Digital Licence would be a valuable addition to the skills his students were being taught.

“This is an excellent new tool for New Zealand teachers and parents to have in the toolkit, to grow cyber smart values in that tricky year seven to year 10 age group,” he said.

Google New Zealand’s Stephanie Davis said it was great to see the Digital Licence introduced to New Zealand schools.

“The Digital Licence ensures that time spent online is positive, constructive and enjoyable,” Ms Davis said.

The license is currently used by more than 200,000 students in Australia.