Positive Online Content Awareness Week
Positive Online Content Campaign
Who is it for?
The Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) is far-reaching in its scope, aiming to involve multiple stakeholders in providing better online experiences for children through high-quality digital content.
There are various ways in which the different stakeholders can both get involved and benefit from the campaign. With a view to obtaining a better shaped and targeted campaign, the generic tagline "Positive online content: better experiences for children" has been devised, and is further tailored to each of the following key stakeholder groups:
Children (up to 12 years of age): "Positive online content: better experiences for you!"
Children have the right to enjoy the best possible online experiences the internet can provide. Especially at a young and impressionable age, one single, well-made game, website or app can potentially change a young person's life. If certain basic criteria are fulfilled, online content and services can enable children, from the earliest of ages, to learn, develop and express themselves, and overall have fun in a safe online space, in which they are free to participate without risk of harm.
More generally, we believe that children's digital literacy skills should be developed from an early age in order to allow them to assess the content they find online critically, while in turn protecting them from future online risks such as grooming, cyberbullying, sextortion, revenge porn or simply if encountering inappropriate content while surfing the web. By exposing young children to high quality online content from their very first online experiences, they can learn how to recognise the basic components of appropriate and positive content and services.
Parents and carers: "Positive online content: better experiences for your children"
Parents want what is best for their children and navigating through the sheer amount of online services and content targeted at younger users to make sure that those in their care are safe, while at the same time stimulated, informed and empowered, is no easy task. For these reasons, the Positive Online Content Campaign intends to raise awareness and inform parents and carers of what they should be looking for in an online service/app/content that is respectful of their children's needs and learning capacities.
Targeted primarily to content producers/providers, the checklist of criteria for positive online content is also a good starting point for parents. It encourages them to consider a few basic questions before choosing online content for their young ones:
- Is the online content in question empowering and suitable for my child?
- Is it engaging?
- Is it stimulating?
- Is it safe?
More importantly, we believe digital literacy is not only crucial for children! To make sure that their children can develop the necessary skills, parents and carers alike should also seek to develop their eSafety skills and awareness in order to make the best judgements concerning suitable online content. This will enable parents to act as digital role models, providing positive examples for their children right from the beginning. Positive online content can equally stimulate conversations between children and parents. By showing an interest in their children's (online) media usage and preference, parents can listen to their views, learn what they like and enjoy, what type of problems they might have, what scares them, and so on.
Children need to be monitored and seconded, which is why parents should be able to establish boundaries and guidelines for them. Parents cannot do everything, of course, but as informed consumers, digitally literate parents can play an active role, also by challenging industry, content providers and even politicians to make sure their children gain access to the best available online content.
Teachers and educators: "Positive online content: better experiences for your pupils"
Digital content is playing an increasingly significant role in children's education, from an ever-younger age. For this reason, teachers and educators should be equipped to properly and effortlessly navigate through the wide array of online content available, in order to ensure the safest, most informative and engaging experiences for their pupils. Positive online content and services have the potential to enrich lessons and any educational activities by taking advantage of children's almost innate fascination and motivation to learn through digital media.
Equally important is how teachers and educators can use their position as role models also when it comes to digital literacy. Apart from teaching children how to behave online and how to develop critical thinking skills, teachers and educators should aim to educate through personal example.
Content providers and producers: "Positive online content concepts: better experiences for your young users"
Producers and providers of digital content who design, develop and distribute online content and services targeted at children up to 12 years of age probably play the biggest role in ensuring that younger generations have access to age appropriate, safe, informative and empowering online experiences from the outset.
Through this campaign, we intend to reach out to both industry and small independent content producers/providers and to raise awareness about their responsibility when it comes to their youngest public's wellbeing.
Thanks to our revised, tailor-made checklist, content providers and producers across Europe may design, adapt and customise their products so as to contribute to raising an empowered and digitally skilled generation of active citizens.
How can that be achieved? In a nutshell, truly positive online content is age-appropriate and adapted to the target audience's capacities, it has a very clear idea of the learning outcomes and provides all the necessary tools for an easy and especially safe navigation for the child. Apart from all of the above, a positive online content prototype is also inclusive, respectful of its users' privacy, and prevents children from making in-app purchases without an adult's consent and guidance.
What is it about?
The Positive Online Content Campaign will reach its peak during the last week of September 2017, during a campaign awareness week. We hope that you will join us, from 25 to 29 September 2017, to spread the word about positive online content and to make sure children and young people have access to the best possible experiences online!
The awareness week has been shaped to reach out to each stakeholder group in turn and will be organised as follows:
- Monday, 25 September 2017 (children and young people) read our Youth Panellists' testimonials and join the activity on social media (#positivecontent)
- Tuesday, 26 September 2017 (teachers and educators): find out everything you wanted to know about incorporating positive online content in your school activities by joining the eTwinning webinar at 7 pm CEST with Dr Jacqueline Harding of Tomorrowschild.co.uk (for community members only), discover our infographic for teachers and many tips and tricks!
- Wednesday, 27 September 2017 (parents and carers): read the blog article, see and share the video interview with Martin Schmalzried of COFACE Families Europe, join the Twitter chat at 2 pm CEST by following #ChatPOCC and stay tuned for more tips and tricks and an infographic for parents.
- Thursday, 28 September 2017 (content providers and producers): join the Twitter chat at 11 am CEST for industry and content providers/producers, hosted with the help of FSM's Lidia de Reese (use #ChatPOCC to join the discussion), check our infographic and stay tuned for more tips and tricks.
- Friday, 29 September 2017 (national campaigns): read the blog article, join the discussions on social media and discover some of the highlights of the week.
Check back soon for more information on specific awareness week activities, or follow the build up on Twitter using #positivecontent.
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