Singtel Cyber Wellness Toolkit for Special Education Schools
In this digital age, children with special needs, especially the teenagers, can be quite social media-savvy and also face the same cyber pitfalls and dangers such as inappropriate content and cyber bullying.
These children are equally susceptible to online stranger-danger situations, bullying and harassment.
We are pleased to announce the launch of Singtel Cyber Wellness Toolkit for Special Education (SPED) Schools, a customised programme developed for students with intellectual disability to help them learn to develop safe online habits and identify dangers in the digital world.
This toolkit is part of Singtel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to educate and promote responsible digital citizenship, especially among vulnerable children and youth. We want to help them navigate the cyber world with greater confidence and learn how to protect themselves from online dangers.
The young ones today are exposed to online risks such as inappropriate content, device and gaming addiction, and cyber bullying as they have easy access to technology. This problem is magnified when it comes to children with intellectual disability, who typically have easy access to technology at home with minimal or no supervision, and are easily susceptible to media influences and undesirable behaviours without realising the dangers.
From our ongoing conversations with the Singtel Touching Lives Fund (STLF) beneficiary SPED schools and community partners, we understand that there is currently no formal cyber wellness curriculum for SPED schools. We feel that the gap needs to be addressed and we hope to do it with the Singtel Cyber Wellness Toolkit.
We worked with TOUCH Cyber Wellness, the subject matter expert in Singapore and a service of TOUCH Community Services, and three of our STLF beneficiary schools – APSN Chaoyang School, APSN Tanglin School and MINDS Lee Kong Chian Gardens School – to develop the Singtel Cyber Wellness Toolkit over the past ten months.
This Toolkit is a product of numerous rounds of teacher focus groups, classroom observations and teaching material iterations on what will work best in the SPED environment. We are confident that this toolkit will aid the SPED teachers deliver these important lessons easily to the students in a fun and engaging manner.
It comprises a thumbdrive with resource materials for the teachers, and three levels of workbooks for students seven to 18 years old, covering four main themes most relevant to them:
1. Cyber relationships
2. Online information
3. Online harassment and Cyber bullying
4. Time management online
We believe that timely education can minimise risks and maximise the child's development, especially for children with special needs.