supporting students to self regulate their online activities !!!

about the initiative

Pebble Park is a project of FnF Group, an Australian company constituted under Australia Pty Ltd company regulatory requirements. Pebble Park is run by a group of industry experts with the number one priority of proactively protecting and empowering young people in the online environment and beyond. We are also committed to ensuring that this happens efficiently, comprehensively, engagingly and in a constantly evolving manner.

Our contributors are leaders in their fields and include IT consultants, teachers, youth behaviourists, futurists, online education specialists, corporate executives and most importantly, children themselves. For more specific information about our team, go to our Who’s Involved page.

Our values include:

  •   Freedom and Abundance – no-one wants their options to be restricted;
  •   Young People’s maturity – they are inquisitive, intelligent people who have a fresh take on old issues;
  •   Personal responsibility–young people are able to self-regulate once they know what is expected of   them;
  •   Peer support – young people can be very caring and supportive of each other;
  •   Guidance – young people need guidance, not authoritarianism;
  •   Technology is a means, not an end – technology is only a tool to support interpersonal interaction.

We hope that you enjoy the site. Remember, Pebble Park is for young people and by young people. Get involved. Give your opinion. Ask questions. We believe in you – dream big and go for it!

What do we do?

Problem

The issue of online safety has become a political debate in Australia. The government has pledged to ensure that our children will be safe online, but the concept of universal content filtering is controversial as it may impinge on the rights of adult citizens to use the internet as they see fit and is claimed to interfere with connection and download speed. It is also argued that people will always find a way to by-pass content filters in any case.

One of the most disturbing recent phenomena is Cyberbullying, a practice that makes the victim’s life miserable and tragically, has even led to vulnerable teens taking their own lives. The sad truth about cyberbullying is that for the most part, it is inflicted on children by their own peers.

How do we keep our children safe online without seeming to ‘preach’ or being over-protective? How do we empower them to avoid cyberbullying? Our research indicates that children are:

  •   unlikely to proactively seek out advice about online safety;
  •   very curious and likely to explore sites that might be inappropriate or dangerous;
  •   unlikely to tell an adult if they are being or have been cyberbullied for fear of having their computer or   mobile phone removed.

The Solution

The team at Pebble Park identified that the “Access Denied” page presented a missed educational opportunity. We replace this standard page with one of our sites when young people attempt to access inappropriate material. We have several age specific sites available.

The Pebble Park strategy ensures that:

  •   the cyber safety message is delivered at the point of action, when the user has tried to access   unsuitable material;
  •   the system is ‘self adjusting’ – the more a user attempts to access inappropriate content, the more   they will see the messages;
  •   the content on the site is written largely by peers of the user, making it relevant to ‘real life’   experiences;
  •   the learning experience is fun, engaging, appropriate, positive and safe;
  •   content is updated regularly so that it remains fresh, relevant and engaging.

The Power of Peer Support

Peer support is a mainstay of the Pebble Park initiative. Our young people are intelligent and inventive idealists, charged with the belief that they can make a difference and that tomorrow belongs to them. Only the young people themselves have the power to improve their online community through discussion, education and peer support. The young people themselves will change their attitude to offensive behaviour such as cyberbullying until it becomes totally unacceptable.

Pebble Park will help to shape tomorrow’s leaders both online and in society at large. Our experts are available in the background to lend a helping hand if needed. This may be in the form of asking stimulating and interesting questions, or through provision of sponsored incentives that might solicit young people’s views on tackling problems. The aim of Pebble Park is to foster a sense of community amongst young people – to help them to help themselves.

If you would like further information about our governing rules you can refer to our Code of Conduct and Guidelines.

Behind the name “Pebble” Park

For Adelie Penguins pebbles are special. Males will search large areas to choose the best pebbles to make their nest safe and suitable to protect their family. The nests of pebbles keep the chicks safe until they are old enough to fend for themselves. Pebble Park is designed in the same way. Each piece of content on the site is a "pebble", carefully chosen to protect and encourage young people online to be safe, smart and aware of the world around them.

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