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Digital Safety Project AwardED Government Grant

Image Credits: Central Queensland University, Press Release

An Educational Technology expert at CQUniversity has been named amongst Queensland’s brightest minds in education research and granted over AU$ 76 000 for an upcoming digital safety project. He was one of 14 successful applicants to receive a Queensland Government Education Horizon grant to respond to modern challenges in education and build solutions that will benefit Queenslanders for generations to come.

The project focuses on digital safety in schools and includes holistic digital citizenship, incorporating aspects of literacy, well-being, relationships and awareness of technology habits.

He noted that the team anticipates that, through this project, a greater understanding of how kids interact online for learning will be gained. This will inform a set of workshops designed as professional development for educators and we will deliver this back to Queensland schools.

The professor stated that, since COVID-19, how students use the online space has changed significantly. However, there has, thus far, been little empirical evidence of their current usage and how it relates to safety needs. Thus, this project focuses on the perspectives of Year 6 to 8 students, who are newly independent internet users, to identify the factors that enable or challenge their ability to use technology in empowering ways for learning.

By identifying these complex and often less visible aspects of students’ technology engagement and decision-making, our findings will contribute to a holistic and up-to-date framework of a digital safety culture, as well as a professional learning package that informs staff and student engagement for learning, and impacts new policy and practices, the Professor said.

The project is expected to run over six months and Assoc Prof Cowling will collaborate with CQUniversity adjunct academics Dr Kwong Nui Sim and Dr Joanne Orlando (Auckland University of Technology and Western Sydney University respectively).

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Education Horizon grants were more than just funding to support quality research, they were an investment in students’ futures.

Research projects like these cover a wide range of education matters, from health and wellbeing, to leadership, to learning in a rapidly changing modern world.

The Queensland government supports vital research

The Queensland Education Department’s Education Horizon research grant scheme funds high-quality local research that aligns with the government’s priorities and the department’s priority research themes. Queensland researchers with a Queensland-based sponsor organisation are eligible to apply at the time of invitation to their university’s vice-chancellor office. Limitations may be placed on the number of applications per university.

Some of Queensland’s brightest minds in education research have been granted a combined $1 million in the Queensland Government’s funding to respond to modern challenges in education and build solutions that will benefit Queenslanders for generations to come.

The region’s Education Minister recently announced the 14 successful projects to receive Education Horizon grants for high-quality early childhood and school education research for 2022 – 10 of which are led by women. She noted that the Education Horizon grants are more than just funding to support quality research, they are an investment in students’ futures.

The selected research projects cover a wide range of education matters, from health and wellbeing, to leadership, to learning in a rapidly changing modern world. Each of the 14 projects were selected by a departmental panel from a total of 42 applicants, with the successful projects to be delivered over six months.

The Minister said the Education Horizon grants were first launched in 2016, with this the fifth grant round to be awarded.

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