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An Anti-Bullying App for Children from Australian Education Authorities

The Allen Adventure iPad™ app is developed by the Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group—made up of all Australian education authorities – to help children 3-8 years of age develop social and emotional skills. Described as fun and positive, it is designed as an interactive story about a young visitor from another planet who is new to school and is learning how to get on with his Earthling classmates. Through discussion with parents and educators, children can learn how to manage a variety of social situations, like making friends, getting on with others and dealing with difficult behaviours from other children.

A review of professional literature on early childhood development led the Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group to design the app to teach social skills during the formative years of 3-8, identified as a beneficial time to prevent bullying behaviour developing in young children. By using quirky characters and a tablet-based technology, the group hopes that younger children will engage with the learning objectives of the app.

Kellie Klinge, a Prep teacher from St Martin’s Primary School in Brisbane, found that the students easily engaged with the characters in the story. "The fact that the characters are animated seemed to be easier for the students to build empathy with. They also found it easy to relate to Allen, particularly as he needed their help when deciding what the appropriate behaviour was in the different social situations he encountered," Kellie said.

The Allen Adventure iPad™ app is one of a suite of tools available from Bullying! No Way!  — the Australian schools’ anti-bullying website. The Bullying. No Way! website also has extensive supporting information for parents and educators.

Australia's National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is on Friday 21 March 2014, and is the key anti-bullying event for all schools. Schools are encouraged to register for the event and join a nationwide movement to stamp out bullying in schools.

For more information, and to download the app, go to www.bullyingnoway.com.au

Image from bullyingnoway.gov.au