“Children and parents: internet use and perception” is a study carried out in January 2013 in France to analyse the perception, sometimes divergent, of parents and children about the use of Internet.
Commissioned by the Institut Français d'Opinion Publique (IFOP) to RSA on the occasion of the Safer Internet Day 2013, celebrated on 5 February, the study counted with the participation of 403 young people aged 11 to 17 and 402 parents.
The survey focused on five main areas: context of Internet use by children, perceived level of safety on the Internet, Internet behaviour, perceptions and attitudes on social networks, experiences of children and their rights on the Internet.
October is the European Cyber Security Month. The goal is to raise awareness about cyber risks. Among all internet users, children are one of the most vulnerable groups. Phil Banyard, Reader in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, has been researching on how schools in UK deal with those risks.
What are the main cyber risks for children?
The main cyber risks for children are probably cyber bullying and sexual solicitation. There are also new risks in social networking because it encourages risky behaviours. And there are also the problems with excessive game playing or addiction.
Are these risks different from real-life dangers?
I think it’s hard to tell. I think the only that does seem to be different measurably is cyber bullying because it can be much more intrusive and you just can’t get away from it. Cyber bullying is different from playground bullying. But for the others, it’s actually hard to tell if they’re a new danger or a new media for old dangers.
Is technical control effective to avoid those risks?
No, I don’t think it is. I think that education is the way you reduce risks. If you just control things for people, then they don’t come to evaluate the risks themselves. They don’t adjust their behaviour and so they’re vulnerable to the occasion the control is not there. I think technology is able to reduce some of it, for example you can block off some web sites. But on the whole, the best way to reduce risk is by improving people’s knowledge of it.
Do you think the overprotection has to do with a less digital literacy among adults?
I think everybody has some digital literacy and some areas where they’re not very good at and children are better at it. But I don’t think adults are particularly bad. In every generation, children find a way to create their own world. In my generation, we foundways to have music and entertainment that adults didn’t like. And I think children will always do that, so they will exclude parents, so we shouldn’t worry about that.
Do adults underestimate the capacity of children to avoid those risks?
Yes, we try and keep children young, we overprotect them. Particularly in European countries, we’re very protective of children. Outside of Europe children are often required do all sorts of adult tasks. We have to encourage children to make their own choices and to take responsibility for them.
Should some educational effort be put on adults?
The educational effort would be better directed atteachers so that they would know what children are doing and also evaluate the risks better.
How can you educate children to avoid cyber risks?
The best way is to give them strategies to deal with problems that arise. I remember the case of a primary school, with children from 7 to 10 years old, and the school didn’t particularly have filters on but they just sat with the kids and encouraged them to report when there was a problem and to tell them what to do about it. So the best way is to treat them as intelligent creatures and let them maketheir own choices, also to encourage them to seek support from their peers.We have to encourage them to be self-sufficient.
Do you think about a specific methodology?
It should be a continuous effort. It’s about how you deal with life generally, how you deal with strangers, how you deal with the danger when you walk down the street, the general politenesses of life. We try and encourage them to grow up and make their own decisions and to be responsible citizens. We should transfer that learning to their dealings with the internet.
One World Learning (OWL) project is designed to provide nonformal education for secondary school students in developed and developing countries to learn about the world as they have never done before. It aims to deepen their knowledge of foreign cultures and universal development issues and to establish lasting international relationships. The project is composed of regular real-time interaction of two culturally different groups (OWL teleclasses), an interest-driven and flexible curriculum, and the use of the telepresence technology in secondary education environment.
The article reflects the role of stakeholders and experts as well as their composition in review teams, based on the example of epprobate, the international quality label for eLearning courseware.
Some aspects of what we mean by eLearning quality can be captured in a reasonably objective manner (e.g. are learning objectives stated) but most of what we mean by quality (e.g. student engagement) can only be captured through more subjective measures. However, once we start to use subjective measures then the results begin to depend on who is doing the measuring, and, crucially, the results vary depending on the positioning of the reviewers with respect to the courseware.
So an eLearning producer may have one view (and within the company, the coders may have different views from the graphic designers), but the learners and teachers who will use the courseware, the employers who will employ those who have used the course, maybe the company that has commissioned the courseware for its employees, national government agencies and other social agencies may all have different perspectives on what is important in judging the quality of the courseware.
None of these perspectives have a monopoly on truth, and so the new international quality initiative ‘epprobate’ is using an approach that calls on views from a range of perspectives and stakeholders in order to develop its quality reviews.
Mere popularity is no guarantee of quality – one only has to look at the most popular TV programs, newspapers and YouTube videos to be convinced that popularity is not necessarily the same as quality!
On the other hand the traditional approach to quality assurance also has its problems. In education, the traditional approach has been for a small team of educational experts to come to a consensus view as to whether a journal article, a course, a programme of courses or an educational organization meets an established set of criteria. Such experts typically have knowledge of education and the quality evaluation processes and call on content experts if this is appropriate.
Such quality assurance systems have been criticised for being overly controlling, dominated by one particular perspective, and stifling initiative. So these approaches to quality assurance are giving way to quality enhancement approaches, and at the same time much more emphasis has begun to be put on student involvement in the quality process.
However these general quality schemes even in their most recent formulations are not ideally suited to the demands of an educational system subject to rapid change and growth and in particular those demands that arise from the use of eLearning. Many quality schemes for eLearning have been developed but most are somewhat tied to the limiting aspects of traditional quality approaches.
The solution that epprobate is proposing is to carry out reviews from a range of perspectives, in terms of a published set of quality criteria (http://epprobate.com/index.php/en/epprobate-quality-grid), and to involve the courseware producer with a learning community based around this review process. The production by the eLearning courseware producer of a self assessment is a vital part in encouraging the development of eLearning quality through self evaluation. A typical review panel would consist of representatives of the target group for the course, a pedagogical and quality expert, another eLearning courseware producer, a content expert and the eLearning courseware producer. This panel would produce a report examining the courseware in terms of the published criteria, and would award the epprobate label where the courseware was found to be of high quality.
Rather than simply a process of providing a label, the core of the epprobate process is the promotion of a community of peers working together to improve eLearning quality. We will achieve our goal of supporting the development of high quality eLearning courseware through a combination of consulting with a range of perspectives and multiple stakeholders, reviewing against a published set of criteria, producing detailed evaluative reports, and involving eLearning producers within our learning community.
The dates for the next Media & Learning Conference in Brussels have been announced, the conference will take place on 14-15 November 2012.
Aimed at policy makers, service providers and practitioners, the third annual Media & Learning Conference will build on the success of Media & Learning 2011 which attracted over 298 people from 39 countries with a packed programme of talks, discussions and demonstrations.
Media & Learning 2012 is being organised in collaboration with the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training and the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture and will take place in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training Headquarters in Brussels.
The programme will include lots of new features including debates, exchanges and online elements and will include the annual awards ceremony for the MEDEA Awards as well as presentations and inputs from all finalists in the 2012 competition.
Media & Learning 2012 will bring together an ever-widening community of people interested in how media can be used to support learning across all sectors, in media literacy and in the re-use of media based resources in education and training as well as broader issues related to innovation, creativity, ICT skills and digital competence.
Contact the organisers if you would like to be involved in the development of the conference programme. Interested individuals, project teams, institutions and organisations are invited to submit proposals to give presentations, demonstrations and workshops at this conference, the closing date for submissions is 1 June 2012.
More information including the public call for input will be available from the Media & Learning Conference website shortly: http://www.media-and-learning.eu.
To read the public report about the Media & Learning Conference 2011, you can download it from the online press and publications page.
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De Week van de Mediawijsheid (21-27 november) is een initiatief om meer aandacht te vragen voor het belang van mediawijsheid. Het thema dit jaar is media-opvoeding.
Mediawijzer.net lanceert met grote trots de nieuwe website van de Week van de Mediawijsheid 2011; www.mediamasters2011.nl. Op deze website is informatie te vinden over de campagne en kunnen scholen en bibliotheken zich inschrijven voor deelname.