Empowering children and adults for a safe and responsible use of ICT
Since 2011 JRC researchers have been investigating the risks and opportunities to children in the digital age, including the cyber bullying phenomenon, to support the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child and the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children. During the research process it emerged that, despite the huge amount of online and offline resources, a hands-on toolkit for youngsters, parents and teachers was missing. Children’s online safety is an emerging theme in policy context and thus needs investigation in order to advise stakeholders in an evidence-based way. JRC... researchers have been intensively analysing the digital citizenship and its related subjects. From this research it emerged the need for empowering tools for children, teachers and parents providing more information, mediation and digital skills development. JRC researchers have produced materials to raise awareness and trust, and to empower children, families and schools in the attempt to promote a safe and healthy life online and help prevent cyber bullying amongst teens. This material has been integrated in the Happy Onlife toolkit. Happy Onlife (HOL) is a toolkit, which comprises a project booklet with a collection of 17 educational activities promoting digital competence development and shared experiences of the digital world among teachers, parents and children between 8 and 12 years. It includes a board game inspired by the traditional ‘Snakes and Ladder’ game. The toolkit activities and the game quiz questions are designed to prompt discussion and allow the moderator to drive the actors towards a responsible and safe way of using digital media. The toolkit is available both as paper version and online application on mobile and web platforms. Following the presentation of the Happy Onlife paper toolkit at the 2015 Safer Internet Day (SID) Italy in February and the online publication of the digital game application in August 2015, the adoption results are encouraging with around 700 kits freely distributed in 16 Italian regions, more than 300 requests on the waiting list and more than 550 world wide installations freely downloaded from the mobile stores. This toolkit opens a path to empower teachers and parents in actively guiding our children to become smarter, responsible, and respectful when using media and help them understand the ethical consequences behind the decisions they make online. Healthy digital children learn better and become healthy digital citizens enabling them to reach their potential in a truly innovative, knowledge-based economy as set out in the digital single market strategy.
- Corporate author(s): Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (Joint Research Centre)
- Personal author(s): Gemo, Monica; Di Gioia, Rosanna; Chaudron, Stephane Themes: Information — Education — Culture — Sport , Information technology and telecommunications
- Subject: access to information , child protection , information technology , information technology user , Internet , learning , parental responsibility , research report , virtual community , young person