Italy launches online platform for young people in response to COVID-19

Families, teachers, boys and girls have had their everyday lives turned upside down by this long quarantine, in which all of us have had to redefine our daily routines. In this extraordinary scenario, digital technologies have been having a much larger and central role in the lives of each and every one of us.

2020-05-19 Italian Safer Internet Centre awareness, youth

Being away from family and friends, we have tried to maintain our relationships with people close to us through instant messaging apps (WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram), social networks, and every instrument that allowed us to feel closer. To work, teach, follow classes, be informed or spend free time, our online time definitely increased.

Picture of boy looking at a laptop screen

According to some research conducted by and the University of Florence  called "Adolescence in the time of a pandemic", the portion of teenagers claiming to be "constantly online" grew from 7 per cent to 25 per cent back in January 2020. Meanwhile, those that indicated spending 5 to 10 hours a day online grew from 23 per cent to 54 per cent. Furthermore, the percentage of teenagers that stated being "rarely" online (4 per cent as of January 2020) is now down to zero.

So how should teachers, parents and students face this particular time in our history the best possible way, using digital technologies in a conscious and correct way? How do we defend ourselves from the risks of an unprecedented hyper-connection? What are the best strategies to make digital didactics more effective from an educational and relational point of view? How do we support kids and teenagers at home? How do we use the network in a safe and aware way?

To face these challenges, the Italian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) created a new, dedicated section on their website; a place where they will try to answer these questions through useful resources such as articles, webinars, videos, sheets for the teachers, parents and students.

Thanks to the help from the consortium's partners, sections dedicated to students – the true main audience of this whole project – have been created. In these virtual spaces, they can learn by playing, attend classes and roundtables, or just find suggestions on how to deal with the new challenges and scenarios that they are facing right now in the best possible way.

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Find out more information about the work of the Italian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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