Insafe network meets online to discuss age-appropriate platform design

Today, the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) begins a two-day training meeting online. This event is an opportunity for members of the network to share experience and good practice and continue to enhance the collaborative learning community that has developed within Insafe. 

Due to the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this edition of the Insafe training meeting could not take place in Oslo, Norway, as was planned, but is instead being held online, with the active contribution of the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre in the organisation of the seminar. During the welcome address in particular, participants will get to hear from Mr. Abid Q. Raja, Norwegian Minister of Culture, Mari Velsand, Director General of the Norwegian Media Authority, and Thomas Haugan-Hepsø – who will represent the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre.

The event will also be an opportunity for SICs to share their best practice and responses to the COVID-19 crisis – whether it is from the awareness centres, helplines or youth coordinators' perspectives – and to consider how the ongoing situation will impact the network's activities moving forward.

The focus of this two-day training meeting will be the importance of platform design and how this needs to be based on the needs of users at different ages and stages. The keynote presentation "Users first" will be delivered by Dr Jessica Piotrowski, Director of the Center for Research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media, and Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam. During this session, participants will gain a better understanding of how platforms are designed, what needs to be considered when doing so, and what children and young people's specific needs are. In addition, Catherine Williams from Netflix will provide an insight into how the platform addresses the challenges of platform design to provide choice and control for families.

Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE from the 5Rights Foundation, will introduce participants to the 5Rights approach, aiming to protect the rights of children in all settings, including online.

The exceptional online format of this edition did not prevent the network from holding the customary Open Space Technology sessions, with discussions around the SICs' responses to COVID-19; digital privacy workshops for parents in Luxembourg; media literacy policy in Finland; YouTube and influencers in Germany; online body image in Ireland; AI in education and safe remote learning in the UK; and education for parents in Iceland.

Hans Martens, Insafe Network Coordinator, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic might have challenged our ability to organise a face-to-face training meeting, but it has also placed the safety and well-being of children and young people in the digital environment in the spotlight like never before. As such, the work of the European Safer Internet Centres is more important than ever, and we are looking forward to a much-needed occasion for them to share best practices and expertise in that regard. This online training meeting will also be an opportunity for the network to discuss age-appropriate design for online platforms with experts from the field and industry representatives."

If you wish to learn more about the work of the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres and other stakeholders in the field, visit the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal and subscribe to the quarterly BIK bulletin for news and resources on the latest trends and challenges online.

Learn more about the work of the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.


Related news

Looking back on SID 2020 and the Youth Pledge for a Better Internet

  • Youth
  • 28/05/2020
  • Kathrin Morasch, BIK Youth Ambassador

In February 2020, Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Ambassador Kathrin Morasch participated in Safer Internet Day (SID) celebrations at the European Commission (EC) to introduce the Youth Pledge for a Better Internet, along with five fellow youth panellists. Below, she looks back on her experience.

Discussing the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children

From Monday, 11 to Wednesday, 20 May 2020, COFACE Families Europe is marking the International Day of Families 2020 by hosting Digital Citizenship Breakfast Bytes, a series of eight 90-minute online sessions (from 9:30-11:00 CET) aiming to increase critical thinking and understanding of the digital world. Named "European Safer Internet Strategy post-2020: key trends and priorities", the Breakfast Byte of Wednesday, 13 May 2020 focused on the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children, which is currently under revision.