Exploring the relationship between basic and digital literacy

The Dutch Safer Internet Centre created a podcast together with the Dutch Library Platform on how books can contribute to children’s online safety.

2021-02-19 Dutch Safer Internet Centre awareness cyberbullying, media literacy/education parents and carers
Boy reading a book

Cover of the book Gehackt by Remco Pijpers

Illustration – Cover of the book “Gehackt” by Remco Pijpers

Remco Pijpers, author and strategic advisor on digital literacy at Kennisnet, wrote a children’s book about a young boy who is attacked by a hacker who uses his identity to bully other people online.  The book is adventurous, yet at the same time very informative as it gives young people an idea of what such an attack is like. An interesting question in this book is, for example, whether you have to get back at someone when this happens. The main character is very much tempted to do so, but does not do it in the end. The book really guides the young reader through all the consequences of this situation and describes how the young victim feels and what he thinks. All in all, this book offers young people an opportunity to experience something without having to actually go through it, which is very valuable. 

In this podcast Remco has a conversation with Lieke Hoefs, from the Dutch Youth Library Platform and Marjolijn Bonthuis, from the Dutch Safer Internet Centre. Not only do they speak of the unique experience books can bring, but they also come to speak of literacy, which is the basis for digital literacy. Education on digital literacy is highly dependent on the foundation of “basic” literacy. 

The podcast received very positive reactions, indicating that some people feel that the aspect of literacy is often ignored in the debate on digital literacy, and more needs to be done in this regard. The podcast also received positive feedback from parents who were relieved by Remco’s advice to them, in which he stated that it is hard, and that his own children (adolescents) make fun of him being an advisor on digital literacy and not knowing how to use Snapchat. Remco explained how parents should not be afraid that they are not fully up to speed with what their children are doing online, but that they should also trust their own life experience, since many questions on digital literacy are in the end questions that come down to that – such as the question “should I get back at someone who treated me bad”.

Click to listen to the podcast on Soundcloud

Find out more about the work of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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