Commit to positive online content choices on Safer Internet Day!

Lockdown (-like) measures and social distancing, families in isolation or quarantine, schools in-between hybrid or distance learning – the ongoing pandemic and its dynamic development is challenging for children and young people, and also for their parents and teachers. Digital content and services play a more important role than ever before when children use and need them daily to stay connected with family and friends, to learn and keep up with homework, as well as to compensate for missing offline activities and cultural events. 

Date 2022-02-07 Author BIK Team Section awareness, positive-content Topic media literacy/education, online reputation Audience children and young people, organisations and industry, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
Young boy looking at his screen

Needless to say, digital and online experiences should be safe, age-appropriate, and overall positive for the youngest users. These are reasons enough to explore how positive online content and services offer special support to children, parents and teachers, as well as providing a source of fun during these challenging times. 

Fun, entertainment and sports 

Positive online experiences offer lots of fun for children – which is indeed a children’s right and very much needed, especially when fun events with others are scarce in current times. They offer a broad diversities of activities children can enjoy and discover, such as: 

Arts and crafts: With creative apps, craft video tutorials, online recipes, or small media projects, children can use digital content to explore their practical skills alongside their interests and curiosity. This is also a great way for online experiences to inspire offline creativity.

Culture and museums: Concerts on-demand or live-streamed, virtual museum tours, AR exhibitions, or games – there’s no reason to completely miss out on arts and culture when you can discover them digitally. Check out local as well as (inter)national sites; they often offer specific sections and content for younger children. Children could even curate a list of their favourite sites and share it with their family and friends. 

Sports, exercise and dance: Movement is key! Seek out online exercise routines for children, and dance or yoga videos. Many sports clubs, health insurance providers, and even celebrities have produced free online content especially aimed at getting children active during the pandemic. Additionally, gaming devices such as the Wii, Nintendo Switch or Xbox offer a great variety of sports-based games which can be both fun and motivational! Or how about trying geocaching outdoors? 

Top tips: Opt for positive online content when you select games, online videos or websites. Unsure how to search for and identify such content? Browse through our inspirational collection of child-friendly apps, websites and games – and turn to our checklist for more guidance! 

Understanding COVID-19: Child-friendly news and explanations 

Children are particularly affected by the restrictions and also want to know what is happening in the world. Child-friendly news websites or digital content health on matters can help with explaining the current situation, or offer guidance on ways to start a conversation. Such resources tend to report in a simple and understandable way, while short videos help children to absorb difficult information without getting bored quickly. Complex scientific contexts and political decisions are made more understandable through examples that are close to everyday life. Additionally, these sources take care to ensure that they don’t show photos or videos that could frighten children. 

Top tips: Offering specific child-friendly and safe information services reduces the risk of children encountering misinformation online. When families agree on specific age-appropriate news channels or sites, children can browse through information and current developments independently.

Learning and education 

Many positive online content and services cover educational topics and can support homeschooling, homework, or even tutoring. Special encyclopedia for children, apps, games, and websites on science, language learning, or history offer children entertaining ways to tackle their school work. 

Online videos are very popular with children and cover a huge variety of topics. While children enjoy online educational content in general, gamification can also make learning more effective. Children learn with less pressure and fear and, at the same time, creative skills are released. In addition, they tend to remember content better, as it is often conveyed much more vividly. 

Top tips: Search engines for children or designated starting pages can be a great starting point to browse child-friendly content. On all-age video platforms, parents should check channels and video content against the positive online content criteria, use existing safety features for youngsters and, ideally, accompany younger children while watching. 

We’ll be placing a spotlight on positive online content throughout 2022; keep an eye on the website at positiveonlinecontentforkids.eu. But, as we celebrate Safer Internet Day 2022 on Tuesday 8 February, why not take the opportunity to check out the positive online content checklist and start a dialogue with your children or pupils on this important topic.  

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