Education and the role of schools. Notes from the EU Kids Online Project. Cristina Ponte FCSH New University of Lisbon

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1 Education and the role of schools. Notes from the EU Kids Online Project Cristina Ponte FCSH New University of Lisbon

2 The EU Kids Online aims To identify and evaluate available data on children s use of online technologies To inform the research agenda, noting gaps in the evidence base To compare findings across Europe, contextualising similarities and differences To produce a best practice guide for methodological issues and challenges To develop policy recommendations for awareness raising and media literacy

3 EU Kids Online network A thematic network examining European research on cultural, contextual and risk issues in children's safe use of the internet and new media Network of 21 research teams: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom

4

5 Criteria for the Data Repository

6 What research? Nearly 400 studies coded in an online database at

7 Online activities of children Access Age Risks and opportunities Gender Usage Attitudes and skills SES/inequality Mediation by parents, teachers and peers Individual level of analysis Media environment ICT regulation Public discourse Attitudes and values Educational system Country level of analysis

8 Opportunities and risks online Content: Child as recipient Contact: Child as participant Conduct: child as actor O P P S Education learning and digital literacy Participation and civic engagement Educational resources Global information Contact with others who share one s interests Exchange among interest groups Self-initiated or collaborative learning Concrete forms of civic engagement Creativity and selfexpression Diversity of resources Being invited/ inspired to create or participate User-generated content creation Identity and social connection Advice (personal/ health/sexual etc) Social networking, shared experiences with others Expression of identity R I S K S Commercial Aggressive Sexual Advertising, spam, sponsorship Violent/ gruesome/ hateful content Pornographic/harmful sexual content Tracking/ harvesting personal info Being bullied, harassed or stalked Meeting strangers, being groomed Gambling, illegal downloads, hacking Bullying or harassing another Creating/ uploading pornographic material Values Racist, biased info/ advice (e.g. drugs) Self-harm, unwelcome persuasion Providing advice e.g. suicide/ pro-anorexia

9 Children online 6-17 years Eurobarometer surveys, 2005/ DK NL EE UK FI LU SE BE SI CZ FR LV EU27 LT MT SK AT DE HU PL IE PT IT ES CY RO BG EL %

10 Key trends Parents catching up the digital natives, but still some countries with more child use than parent use (EB 2008)

11 Portugal Recent adoption of internet, children lead in uses, digital generational gap

12 Digital generational gap in Portugal Graph Individuals who use computer, Internet and mobile phone, by age scale, 2008 (%) Source: INE, 2009 Computer Internet Mobile phone

13 Reported risk among teenagers 30% 20% 40% 10%

14 At home with the internet Experimental, sometimes risk taking youth Pleasures of networking, constant contact Importance of self expression, identity Culture of peer experimentation, pushing boundaries Desire for privacy from adult supervision Fascination with adult themes sex, violence, paedophiles

15 Probability of use starting earlier Ever younger children getting online (6 17 yrs, EB)

16 Regulation gap (Parental rules, Eurobarometer) Below age of 11, children s skills are percived to be inferior of parents!

17 Mobile platforms Personalised access and mobile platforms make for privatised use

18 Interpreting findings: the contexts

19 Opportunities and risks linked: a balancing act No clear dividing line; children/adults differ Increasing access, use, skills and opportunities also increases risk; this holds for individuals and also across countries Strategies to decrease risk also restrict opportunities and skills Becoming resilient means learning to deal with (some) risk Arguably if we teach internet safety as part of media literacy (i.e. as part of critical and creative engagement with digital resources), we may enable more constructive, contextualised judgements

20 Evidence-based policy recommendations Focused on several domains of national and European policy making and regulation: Awareness raising Education Self regulation Victims and perpetrators Media literacy Parental mediation Digital inclusion Children s rights/opportunities

21 Implications for schools Schools well placed to teach internet safety Schools best placed to reach most children, especially the disadvantaged They sustain learning about safety in calm and responsive learning contexts Surveys show that parents and children prefer safety advice from schools Especially important to reach younger (primary) children However, schools are struggling to keep up Provision is very uneven, sometimes outdated or behind home provision Teacher training is demanding, especially if integrated across the curriculum Schools tend to exclude p2p and ugc technologies and so can t guide pupils Effectiveness of safety advice (and media education) needs more evaluation

22 Conclusion Multiple paths to online risk experiences for children More use increases risk: hence high use countries tend to be high risk Rapid adoption increases risk: hence new use countries are high risk Education is a crucial part of the picture of risk reduction and risk management, though likely to work best in conjunction with other factors Other risk factors likely to include: Children ahead of parents; lack of positive online content in child s language, low investment in media education; lack of a regulatory framework When such factors apply, even low/average levels of use can lead to high risk When such factors are addressed, high use need not lead to high risk

23 Where next? EU Kids Online II ( ) This project builds on our evidence review and best practice research guide It aims to enhance the knowledge base on children s online risks/safety The focus is a survey of parents and children (9 16 yrs) Children will be interviewed face to face at home Stratified random sampling of 1000 internet users per country 24+ European countries to be included Findings to be available for the next Safer Internet Forum Receive early updates by joining the mailing list at

24 Thank you and please visit (Portuguese contents)

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