There is a new galah on the scene and it’s not flaming, but Tweeting! The Tweeting Galah & The Surfing Penguin are sensationally clever picture story books written to support primary schools to teach cyber safety. These two books are written by a West Australian educator, Kim Maslin, who has managed to weave contemporary digital issues into a series of short stories.
What we love about the book? Each book is composed of 4 short stories, meaning you can pick and choose depending on your desired focus. Wide range of cyber safety issues addressed including sharing on social media, stranger danger, geolocation settings, online bullying, being a bystander, balancing screen time and trolling. The stories are written using rich language so that you can easily use them as part of your reading or writing focus for the week. Each short story has one or two very clear and concise ‘cyber safety’ focii. Each story concludes with a series of reflection questions to help guide class discussion. Fun and engaging AR app (free, just download for your class iPads) has a follow up activity or two for each story Accompanying AR selfie cards open the door to fun …
What age are they appropriate for? In our opinion, each short story has a slightly different target demographic. For example, the story of the Galah’s Close Encounter with the Creeping Kestrel focuses on apps that share geolocation data and how this can pose a danger. This topic would require students to be in Grade 3+. Whereas The Scary Plight of the Surfing Penguin is all about choosing age appropriate content, checking with an adult and having content filters. This story definitely lends itself to junior students in F-2. In summary, across the 8 short stories there is a raft of topics to cater for all primary school grade levels.
STUDENT REVIEW – Ruby Saulsman, Grade 2
We asked a Grade 2 student, Ruby to review the books and share the lessons she learnt:
“I give these books 5 stars – It was a really good book to help children learn about safety on iPads, phones and computers. I liked using Zapper (free AR app) to do the quizzes. My favourite two stories were:
The Sensational Saga of the Bumbling Bilby – The message is not to be mean and take photos or videos of other people and post them unless you have their permission. You should respect people and their feelings.
The Curious Case of the Overly Playful Platypus – The message is when you get a computer, ipad or phone don’t use it all the time because you could get distracted. You need to have small amounts of time on them. You should keep them away from you when sleeping so you are not tempted to use it.“