Stay safe with positive online content through the festive season

Children are using digital content and services more and more, and especially during the ongoing pandemic to stay connected with family and friends, for schoolwork and learning, but also for fun and entertainment when many other activities cannot take place. Positive online experiences through child-friendly digital offerings play a more important role than ever before.

Date 2021-12-15 Author BIK Team Section awareness, positive-content Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, media specialist, organisations and industry, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals

In 2022, a new Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) will highlight new resources throughout Europe, provide special tips from experts for parents and educators, and seek the voices and views of children themselves. It will also explore emerging technologies and consider providers’ responsibilities, alongside much more – stay tuned in the new year to discover more!

Before we kick off the new campaign, however, let’s look at the basics: What does positive online content mean exactly? In brief, positive online content adheres to certain core values and aims to provide a positive impact on children! It is empowering, engaging, stimulating and safe (read more on the definition and discover a handy checklist here).

With the holiday season upon us, positive online content and services can ensure safe, fun, engaging and creative digital experiences with new devices or during streaming and gaming activities in families. Check out our top tips for parents and families:

Christmas wish list: many children might be receiving their first smartphone, tablet, gaming console, smart speaker, or other connected devices but, as parents and carers, do you really know what your children are doing with them?

  • Ensure child-friendly use of digital devices – use safety features and parental control settings, and talk about rules such as time limits together.
  • Positive online content can help to provide positive online experiences. Choose child-friendly apps, websites and games – age ratings and the positive online content checklist offers guidance on how to identify them.
  • Together is key! Discuss your child’s online experiences, let them show you their favourite games, and play alongside them.

Streaming through the holiday season: time off together, miserable weather, and too much good food? A film afternoon or evening can be a great opportunity to get cosy as a family.

  • Keep positive online content concepts in mind when you select series or films to watch with children. Special selections and genres for youngsters and families can be a good starting point on your streaming platform of choice.

  • Before you start, pay attention to the age ratings and the length of the programme. There are often descriptions and sometimes trailers that offer an insight into the film or series.

  • Even if you are there as parents, keep track of the time during cosy viewing sessions. Exercise and other screen-free activities are important to help you to process what you’ve watched, and to keep your body fit.

And now it’s your turn: media use doesn't have to mean just sitting quietly in front of the TV or swiping away spellbound on a tablet. Media can do so much more – get creative together!

  • Digital and online tools can support children and adults to become creative, learn new things, and experience something together. Small media projects can be implemented even with children of kindergarten and primary school age without taking too much time or requiring a high level of technical effort.
  • Why? Creative media projects can help to strengthen media literacy - not only in your child, but also in you. With productive media use, children can be creative and express themselves, while learning to use media as a tool. Media projects promote teamwork, so they can also stimulate social learning. And, last but not least, everyone can have fun together and be proud of their achievements at the end.
  • How? If you’re in need of inspiration, ideas include a photo rally with your smartphone, producing audio stories or a podcast, creating stop motion or cartoon stories with your tablet, bringing colouring pictures to life with apps, coding and making, building your own audio player, creating fan fiction, and so much more!

Look out for more on positive online content in the new year, or check out the previous Positive Online Content Campaign website in the meantime.

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