Net Detectives - Students Can Go Online Safely
13 October 2003 at 1:10 pm
Young people in Australia can discover how to use the Internet safely through an innovative new program.
Net Detectives, an online interactive program is being brought to Australian schools by the Australian Broadcasting Authority, and uses online technology to link young people with experts from outside agencies to solve real-life problems with the use of a fictional but realistic scenario.
The ABA says while the Internet can offer young people great advantages in both social interaction and learning, it is important for children and parents to be aware of the potential dangers of using chat rooms – including the danger that those chat rooms may be frequented by sexual predators.
Net Detectives was Developed in the United Kingdom by Childnet International to give young people the skills to navigate the online environment with care and confidence, and the program also helps to raise awareness of some of the potential dangers in the online world.
It’s an online activity that promotes Internet safety for young people. The activity is designed specifically for use in the school environment, and is pitched at young people in the upper primary school to lower secondary school age range.
The ABA is seeking expressions of interest from schools throughout Australia who may be interested in playing Net Detectives. The next event is currently scheduled for early December 2003.
Teams engage in a role-play scenario with messages on how to be Internet savvy. The activity is designed specifically for use in the school environment, and is pitched at young people in the upper primary school to lower secondary school age range.
The activity connects young people, working in teams online and connected via a website, with experts in an online control room. Participants in the control room may include the ABA and Childnet International, teachers, local police and child advocates.
Participating teams assume the role of a teacher as they work through an unfolding scenario. The scenario is fictional but realistic, involving a girl’s experience of meeting someone in real life she has previously only
met in a chat room.
Clues relating to the scenario are sent out periodically from the control room. Teams work co-operatively, interrogating the data before them, and posting questions or theories about what is happening.
Teachers provide guidance for students and lead the discussion on Internet safety that follows. The online activity lasts up to 2 hours.
If you would like to register your school, email
For more information about Net Detectives, contact: Sharon Trotter. ABA Ph (02) 9334 7865.