MOE Cyber Wellness Framework
Cyber Wellness refers to the positive well-being of Internet users. It involves an understanding of the risks of harmful online behaviours, an awareness of how to protect oneself and other Internet users from such behaviours.
The Cyber Wellness Framework
The Framework focuses on developing the child’s instinct to protect himself and empower him to take responsibility for his own well-being in cyberspace. Thus, this framework highlights two principles to guide students in their actions, describes a 3-step process to explore cyber wellness issues and encourages schools to partner parents in promoting cyber wellness among students.
The two principles, “Respect for Self and Others” and “Safe and Responsible Use” when adhered to will anchor students’ well-being in cyberspace as they will then be able to make careful and well-considered decisions.
Respect for Self and Others
Students need to
- uphold their own dignity when online (e.g. avoid surfing inappropriate sites and participating in illegal online activities)
- respect others (e.g. avoid using the work of others without permission and publishing undesirable materials that hurt others)
Safe and Responsible Use
- have an understanding of the risks of harmful and illegal online behaviours, and learn how to protect themselves as well as to avoid dangers they may encounter online.
- be able to evaluate the consequences of their decisions/behaviours while online and make responsible choices to protect themselves and the community (e.g. not spending excessive amount of time chatting or playing games online, and reporting victims of cyberbullying to a trusted adult/authority).
Learning Cycle (Process)
The process of Sense, Think and Act serves to highlight the stages that a student should undergo to prepare himself/herself to self-manage in cyberspace. The process could serve as a heuristic device to help teachers organise lessons on cyber wellness topics.
Sense – The first step in inculcating these principles is to create cyber awareness among the students. students should be able to “sense” the risks of harmful behaviours online and learn how to manage such risks as well as protect themselves from the dangers.
Think – To develop students’ ability to respond to new encounters in cyberspace, it is important to provide opportunities for students to analyse, evaluate and reflect on cyber wellness issues.
Act – Students should eventually translate their understanding into actions that will keep them safe while online.
Students should always “be aware”, “think” before “acting” while they are online. Therefore, “Sense, Think and Act” is a simple learning cycle for pupils to adopt. Schools should reinforce this process when delivering their cyber wellness programmes.