Focus on keeping children safe online
InternetNZ has approved a funding grant to Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa to work collaboratively with Hutt City Libraries to pilot an extension of the Stepping UP programme to help families keep themselves and their children safe online.
Our goal is to provide knowledge, skills and internet connectivity to parents who are basic internet users but lack the confidence to guide and support safe online practices for themselves and their children. Families will come away with a strong knowledge on how to stay safe online, how to recognise scams, cyber-bullying and abuse, and how to handle these situations. Our objective is to eventually roll out the programme to all of DIAA’s 150 library and community partners throughout New Zealand.
During the programme, adults will be working with their children or grandchildren to secure a Digital Licence; this involves successfully completing eight online modules. The Digital Licence is an online internet safety resource targeted at children aged 8 – 14, but our goal is to help adults catch up with their kids and mokopuna.
It was developed in Australia by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and made available to New Zealand students with the support of Google. Between April 2017 and May 2018, 10,615 Year 7 & 8 students from 88 New Zealand schools took part. The programme encompasses online challenges using quizzes and activities to teach school-aged children how to play, learn and socialise online in a smart, safe and responsible way. It also includes various activities and planning tools for use by parents, guardians and teachers. The programme includes eight specific modules with age-appropriate content for students in years 7 to 10, in two different age groups (8-12 and 13-14 year olds):
- Digital devices
- Protecting privacy
- Searching & Researching
- Creating & Sharing
- Social Networking & Gaming
- Communicating safely online
- Friends & strangers (under 13 only)
- Relationships and reputations (13+ only)
- Credits, Coins and Tokens
The Digital Licence is one of the most comprehensive online cyber safety resources available. It embraces the benefits of technology and at the same time educates and protects children from online risks. The New Zealand version is available in English and Te Reo Māori.