Things that can’t be measured

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Julia Gillard (Australian Prime Minister) was asked the other night ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, how big of a tool is Mark Latham?”. Her reply was quick witted “some things, can’t be measured”

I had that feeling after a session with some year 5/6 kids today. They participated in an ACMA Cybersmart Detectives program – a scenario was presented to them in a series of emails, with questions being posed throughout. They responded via emails and polls. They were supported by 5 school staff, as well as on-line staff from ACMA and the Federal police. All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to put in to practise Cybersafe behaviors that we had been talking about. It was engaging and fun as they read, thought, questioned, discussed and made decisions. The program was a great opportunity for the children to learn from a hands-on experience – it was interactive, fast paced and ‘real’ enough to keep them interested.

This was one in a series of lessons on Cybersafety. Afterwards, we did a short de-brief and the children spouted out good answers – What had they learned? How could they apply it in the future ??? They will be more careful with the information they put on the internet, they know that they can’t believe everything they read, they are aware of some of the risks.

I was still left wondering, will we ever know what impact lessons like these make? The answer is probably not! We can only hope that our lessons make some difference.

The impact of these lessons is intangible (like many lessons I guess) but I can only hope that it was memorable in some way – that subsequent discussions build on this experience and that the lesson is applied in that instance in the future when they are confronted with a challenge.

I know that I have to accept that “it cannot be measured” but I certainly hope it got through .