Teachers being asked to teach porn literacy

protective behaviours

Image: Protective Behaviours

The porn industry relies on the compulsive attitude of people towards porn. It relies on exposure both literally and metaphorically. I haven’t missed the irony that if you ask teachers to address porn literacy in schools ¬†because it would appear research suggests children are being damaged by exposure to porn, we are then allowing even more exposure. I understand why so many parents now are home schooling and world schooling their children. Both of those areas are growing. I was one of the few teachers who trained for the compulsory and urgent delivery of AIDS education in schools in South Australia. I went on to be one of the teachers delivering a 4 week sexually transmitted diseases prevention course to year 11s (16 year olds). We were required by law to deliver the AIDS education . The school I was in at the time then went on to create a one year life skills¬†course to help teenagers deal with the real world issues and STD teaching was part of that. That was pre SACE. SACE had its own compulsory subjects like Australian Studies. We were all trained to deliver the AIDS and STD materials and curriculum. I had also trained as a trainer of trainers in protective behaviours. ¬†I didn’t find delivering AIDS education difficult. It was something which parents and students at the time found very helpful. We did not just do it, though. For the ¬†AIDS education we had no choice and parents knew that. The life skills course was something we discussed with parents so everyone had their input and say. If children are being exposed to porn we need to remember we have laws against it. ¬†We need a really clear picture of how ¬†young people are accessing it. If they are not doing safe searches then parental controls are not on. If they are by passing the ¬†parental controls we need better ones. If they are accessing porn in someone else’s home or other venue it then comes back to our laws. If nobody cares much what images are on prime time, popular sites then we have a problem. It’s a big issue. Children need trusted adults to talk to about these matters. It should be their parents. If it can’t be their parents then there are counsellors available. If it is determined to be a really¬†serious a problem which requires action then maybe some teachers should be specifically trained in porn literacy as I was in AIDS education and STD¬†prevention. ¬†Putting it in the curriculum only adds to the industry ¬†exposure in the same way talking about food porn does. ¬†We just keep using that word and we are¬†normalising it and helpfully detracting from what appears to be quite a problem. The industry¬†thrives on access. So I’d not be thinking about porn at all. I’d be looking at how to deal with the issues which have arisen . Given our laws, unless they change, we need to go back and look at what they¬†say and start asking sites and individuals to please comply. Saying it’s everywhere and then putting it in schools is not my idea of how to solve it. Like AIDS education , though, it’s something where there can be a dialogue between parents and schools and then suitable courses developed if there is a perceived need for this.

If you want to read some of the discussions  , you can take  a look at  these sites:

Teaching Media Literacy and Combating Pornography РCatholic Education Resource Centre

Schools ‘should teach how to view porn’, sex forum says¬†– BBC News

Should schools teach ‘porn literacy’ ¬†– Quibly

New Zealand Health Education 


Protect Yourself Online

This is very dramatic. The graphics are superb and the messages are clear. The video is created by the Victorian Department of Justice in Australia. Our police and justice departments are not known for their over reactions. They deal with things very calmly. There is probably a reason for this to be so dramatic. They are dealing with things like this every day. It is their job. They want us to sit up and take notice. We can never let online protection and cyber – bullying fade from our thoughts and we do need to remind ourselves on a regular basis to keep the conversations going so that we look after ourselves and each other. It is awful a young girl would attempt suicide because of cyber-bullying but not tell any adults incase she lost internet access and her phone. That says it all. We need to look at good ways of looking after young people and we need to ensure they will report undesirable online activity to someone who can do something about it. Maybe losing their phone or online activity for a while would be a good way to help them re-establish their priorities and happy life. I would find it very difficult to be a parent these days but we do live in a community which picks up social wellbeing messages strongly and will share them publicly on the radio, on Facebook posts, in papers, on TV. We do get community messages out there effectively and that would help support parents. Schools play a role in this too and can be reminded to stay on message. Blocking, muting, unfriending , checking settings and changing passwords are all easy ways of keeping safe. No one is your friend if they are making you feel threatened and really unhappy. It’s all part of the personal and social capability of the Australian national curriculum. I have recently heard some good stories of how two parents dealt with their children who were online bullies and it more or less followed ¬†restorative justice lines. That is if parents find out and if they have the tools to deal with these things. Some parents might feel ashamed and then not act. Some would not know. Protecting ourselves online needs to be a recurrent conversation. We can all play a part.

E-learning Wishlist 2

This is what my brain looked like when I was gathering thoughts on my e-learning wishlist. Here is the post about my wishlist in a much more sensible form! So I need to review and update it and I am really happy because I have achieved a lot of these things. I can easily and freely access banks of images now but I still haven’t found a good source of music files I can freely use. The music industry is very particular about what is used where and given it’s their income, rightly so. Music makes such a difference though when you are presenting material. Students really respond to it. By creating my locally published websites which I have written about in the posts iWeb for best PIM and Improved Organisation with Web Pages I have solved the problem of rallying my resources and materials in one spot. Unresolved from that is easy electronic interaction with students. I have located a number of cross platform applications and they seem to be popping up more often. The reliability of internet access is not in my hands but in very capable hands. I still have concerns about how much time it takes to prepare and organise e-learning materials. There is an assumption that computers make it better, but not until you have mustered and mastered resources. I have worked out the best storage and filing system is a portable drive and when they get their cloud act together, and that is not too far off, that will help considerably. I am also happy with the amount of resources I can locate to help me and help others. I think globally we are working better together to produce decent pathways through the e-learning adventure. I have found Twitter invaluable in being able to keep up to date with new trends and ideas so the Web 2.0 approach is ensuring we can support and inform each other.

So my second wishlist looks like this and is half the size! Self directed, independent learning works!

1. a bank of music I can freely access.
2. easy electronic interaction with students
3. allocated time to be able to locate and produce good quality e-learning material
4. drag and drop composition of pages for very easy website management
5. Bona fide, verified and child safe guaranteed online learning sites where others interact live with students. I currently have no way of guaranteeing and ensuring these sites are safe.

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