Welcome to the 56th issue of the Insafe newsletter, and the last issue of 2010.
As the festive season fast approaches, technology gadgets are sure to be top of the wish list for many children and young people. Whether Santa brings the latest mobile phone or smartphone, video game or console, a netbook, notebook or an upgrade to the family PC, we can be sure that youngsters will explore their new gadgets with excitement and vigour. However, we must also be sure that they can use these new gadgets safely and responsibly too.
This month we focus on how we – as adults, parents and educators - can help children and young people stay safe online, while still experiencing and embracing the many opportunities that new digital technologies bring. There are many tools, tips and resources to help us in this process – from selecting age-appropriate video games, to using inbuilt parental controls, and increasing our own knowledge and understanding of the issues and risks. We highlight many such tools and resources below, along with the usual mix of news and events.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the Insafe newsletter. If you would like to contribute an article for a forthcoming issue of the newsletter, or the Insafe blog, please contact the Insafe Team
On that note, we wish you a happy, restful and safe festive season. We’ll be back with the next issue of the Insafe newsletter in mid-January 2011.
[Austria] New series of guidebooks to raise awareness among parents
By the end of 2010, the Austrian Safer Internet Centre will publish two parents’ guides with practical advice on how to deal with their children’s online and gaming behaviour. A third guidebook, focusing on ‘Sexuality on the internet’, will be released in early 2011. These guidebooks are primarily targeted at parents who would like to increase their children’s competence in using new media such as the internet, games or social networks.
[Sweden] New website with facts on children’s internet habits – Mediebarn.se
What are kids up to when using the computer? Which are their favourite web sites and what do they do when they visit them? When do they start using computers and how does their use evolve throughout childhood? Since 2005, the Swedish Media Council has been addressing these questions through the ‘Kids and Media Survey’. The latest results from the 2010 survey are now available online.
[UK] New guide for parents and teachers on music, film, TV and the internet
There are many great ways of accessing music, film, TV and video safely and legally online. This new guide from Childnet International aims to keep parents, teachers and young people well-informed on how to stay safe and legal when enjoying entertainment on the internet or via a mobile device.
Gaming advice from PEGI
PEGI – the Pan-European Game Information age rating system – provides advice regarding the age suitability of video games. However, every child is different, and this should be taken into account when making purchasing decisions. Ultimately parents should decide what their children are capable of viewing or experiencing when gaming. Here, PEGI provide some top tips for parents and information on a free iTunes app to check game ratings on the move - ideal when Christmas shopping!
New ‘Digital Parenting’ magazine from Vodafone
Vodafone has created a new magazine called ‘Digital Parenting’ to help parents get to grips and get involved with their children’s digital world. The magazine brings together experts from around the world to give parents the latest advice on digital issues, such as online reputation, location services, sexting, cyberbullying and illegal content.
Parental controls for consoles and gadgets
We often associate parental controls with internet access and mobile phones, but many of the popular gaming consoles have inbuilt parental controls too. Check out the websites of the console developers for the latest information on how to configure parental controls appropriately for the gamers in your family.
Resource roundup for parents and teachers from Insafe and European Schoolnet
Insafe and European Schoolnet have developed a range of new and exciting resources and initiatives to support families and educators in their role of helping young people to use new technologies safely and responsibility. Here we provide a roundup of what's on offer.
[Poland] New e-learning course for adults
The Safer Internet Centre in Poland has developed a new e-learning course for adults, aimed at parents and professionals working with children. Based on research and experiences from the national helpline (helpline.org.pl
), the resource provides an overview of online safety issues, tips on prevention, and signposts to additional resources.
Events and competitions
European Award for Best Children's Online Content
The European Award for Best Children’s Online Content has recently been launched, with the aim of showcasing quality content for 6-12 year olds which is already online, and encouraging the production of new quality online content which aims to benefit children in some way.
Safer Internet Day 2011: Two months and counting...
Safer Internet Day is already in the air and, in a little more than two months, on 8 February 2011, the eighth edition of Safer Internet Day will be celebrated in more than 65 countries across the world. This year, through the theme ‘virtual lives’ we invite you to discover how your real self survives the virtual experience.
Studies & Surveys
[Sweden] New reports on Idol, online gaming and Swedish media habits
The Swedish Media Council has launched four new reports during the autumn of 2010: one looking at the impact of the popular TV programme 'Idol' on children and young people, one looking at the impact of online gaming, and two detailing results from the 'Kids and Media Study 2010' for both older and younger children.
[UK] Country-specific findings from the EU Kids Online study
Last month we reported on the initial findings from the EU Kids Online study, which looked at risks and safety on the internet from the perspective of 23,000 children and their parents across 25 European countries. This month has seen the launch in the first of a series of country-specific reports, with a focus on the UK.
Online Safety in schools
[Poland] “3…2...1…Internet” recognised as ‘Educational Initiative of the Year 2010’
The ‘3…2…1… Internet’ resource was launched in May 2009 by Nobody’s Children Foundation and Microsoft, with the aim of promoting safe use of the internet and new technologies. Since that time, it has been widely promoted and has proved to be a very effective educational tool for senior primary school children. Recent months have seen the launch of a new version of the resource for students with hearing impairments, and recognition through receipt of a prestigious award.
Insafe is a European network of Awareness Centres promoting safe, responsible use of the Internet and mobile devices to young people. It is co-funded by the Safer Internet Programme. Would you like to contribute an article for this newsletter or the Insafe blog? If so, please contact the Insafe Insafe Team.