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WASPA trains teachers in online safety

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The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of SA (WASPA) will again be sponsoring digital safety training for educators participating in the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Competition.
South Africa’s premier IT in education awards are a feature of iWeek, the country’s longest-running annual Internet industry event. This year, the iWeek conference and exhibition will be held in Durban for the very first time. SA’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has held an iWeek event every year since 2001.
WASPA’s sponsorship of digital safety training for the ISPA SuperTeacher educators who attended last year’s iWeek was so well received that the Association will again be sponsoring this valuable training series at iWeek 2017 presented by well-known trainer and commentator, Stuart Thembisile Lewis.
Since WASPA’s sponsorship of the last round of digital safety training for educators at iWeek 2016, the safety of South Africa’s youth on the web continues to be of great concern with one commentator stating “the situation is worsening”.
“While young people are protected by legislation to some extent, it’s difficult to enforce local laws in cyberspace. It’s much more effective to equip our educators with the appropriate knowledge so they can serve as gatekeepers to South Africa’s youth,” says Ilonka Badenhorst, WASPA GM.
Exposure to harmful content and security vulnerability through the disclosure of personal information are the two areas of greatest concern to South African parents, educators and the authorities. This concern is not misplaced.
According to last year’s We are Social’s digital report, the average South African spends just under five hours a day online with WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger being the most popular platforms amongst the youth.
The ISPA SuperTeacher competition is a welcome highlight of the annual iWeek conference and exhibition. It recognises that ICT is a powerful tool in the hands of properly-equipped educators who also have a passion for sharing new technology with their communities.
WASPA’s presentation of mobile safety training to educators comes amid growing parental and educator concern over inappropriate and potentially damaging digital communication by learners.
This year’s iWeek takes place from 4 September to 7 September at the Elangeni and Maharani Hotel in Durban while the WASPA-sponsored half day workshop for 30 educators will take place on Monday, 4 September.
WASPA represents the interests of about 400 providers of mobile content and applications that can be accessed on smartphones and feature phones. It has consumer protection as one of its mandates and is embracing its new role of protecting and empowering learners in cyberspace.