Online learning tool coming to schools

Chief Executive of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation Sarah Davies,with MP Michelle Rowland and MP Dr Daniel Mulino at Footscray High on Wednesday, May 17. (Supplied)

Jennifer Pittorino

Footscray High School was treated with a preview session of a new online learning tool.

On Wednesday, May 17, Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino visited a class of students to launch a special viewing of The eSmart Media Literacy Lab , developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

The online tool is a new pilot program designed to help teachers build students essential media literacy knowledge and skills via a new teaching and learning tool.

The Literacy Lab will be available for all high schools in the nation from July 1.

Dr Mulino said the eSmart Media Literacy Lab was a really helpful practical tool for students.

“It includes discussions around what are the building blocks of facts, such as accuracy and evidence-based material , and what are the building blocks of opinion , that the information is often emotional, personal and often not factual,” Dr Mulino said.

“The data shows that more than two-thirds of teenagers use social media to access news, but because anyone can create content for social media platforms, it is really important that students have the skills to separate fact from fiction.”

Footscray High’s assistant principal Jennifer Bashford said students found the session to be extremely informative and exciting.

“It went really well, especially because all the visitors were asking the kids for feedback on what they thought about the tool, it was very constructive,” she said.

Also in the classroom session was and Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, Footscray High School executive principal Frank Vetere, Pilgrim campus principal Maria Chrisant and Chief Executive of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation Sarah Davies.

Ms Rowland said the new tool will help teachers face the harms of online bullying.

“Misinformation and disinformation are spreading widely across online platforms, but regulation alone cannot tackle all the forms of online harm including bullying and hate speech,” she said.