Helping children to access positive online content – at home and in the classroom!

We are now entering the second week of the Positive Online Content Awareness Month. This week, we focus on parents and teachers, and on their important role in guiding their children and pupils in the digital world to ensure that they interact with the best content available and have positive online experiences.

With the mainstreaming of digital devices and the constant improvements in their user experience, children are able to make use of the internet at an ever-younger age. Given the considerable amount of time many of them spend online, the content they interact with significantly shapes their psychological, social and emotional development.

If the digital divide in a "formal" sense is diminishing, the inequalities among children's access to the digital world now lay in the quality of the online content they interact with. That is why the Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) aims to promote the potential of positive online content for children's education, social interactions and participation in society, and to ensure that they can all equally benefit from such high-quality content.

Digital devices are increasingly used in schools, but the home still remains the place where children go online for the longest periods. Therefore, both parents and teachers play a key role in ensuring that their children and pupils spend quality time online by monitoring, assessing and curating the content they consume on their devices. Yet, given the rapid pace at which new and viral content and trends rise and fall, it can be hard for adults to keep up with every new development. Following the simple recommendations laid out below is an easy way to start making improvements in children's online experiences.

Teachers and parents should always ask themselves, before choosing a website, an app or other online service for the children, whether it is empowering, engaging, stimulating and safe. They should make sure that this online content suits the child's age and development abilities (cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional), and has clear learning outcomes and objectives. The navigation should be as user-friendly as possible for children, and the URL should be unequivocal; it cannot lead to inappropriate domains if misspelled.

Adults should also be wary of their children and students' data protection rights when going online at home and at school, and carefully select websites, apps, and other online services that do not collect unnecessary information about their users. Services should also respect privacy laws and have reporting mechanisms and moderation in place, and there should also be parental control features, especially when it comes to creating an account and spending money on a platform.

If you would like to get more articles, tips and information about positive online content, be sure to subscribe to the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) bulletin, to be released on Monday, 30 September 2019. This edition which will place a further spotlight on this topic as the Positive Online Content Awareness Month draws to a close.

To discover more about the POCC campaign, follow the #PositiveContent and #BetterDigitalChildhood hashtags on social media, keep an eye on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal and Positive Online Content minisite, join the #EdChatEU Twitter chat, and show the world you stand for positive online content for children by adding a Twibbon to your social media profiles!


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Positive online content in the classroom: balance and empowerment for pupils

  • Awareness
  • 28/09/2017
  • BIK Team, Dr Jacqueline Harding

The second day of the Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) Awareness Week was dedicated to teachers and educators; one of the main stakeholders when it comes to ensuring today's children and young people grow up stimulated, engaged and empowered in the online world, while at the same time preserving their privacy and safety online.