Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Safer Internet Day 2014: POSCON at European Commission high-level event

Round Table “Safer Internet around the World"
On Safer Internet Day which was celebrated in 103 countries this year, the European Commission invited experts and stakeholders from all over Europe including researchers, industry, NGOs, national ministries and youth to a high-level round table discussion “Safer Internet around the World” in Brussels including a POSCON network representative. 

After a welcome and introduction by Chair Director General Robert Madelin we heard three keynotes about key issues and perspectives from research into kids online, cyber-psychology as well as from industry and youth.

Sonia Livingstone, Director of EU Kids Online II, emphasized in the kick-off statement that digital skills and satisfaction regarding online experiences among children have not greatly improved, there is still a strong need for children and parents to find great content and, therefore, best practice guidelines for producers become very important. Concerning mobile devices she pointed out a different usage by children, where parent’s influences weaken and children use them more independently and on their own.
Mary Aiken, Director CyberPsychology Research Centre RCSI, added a cyber-psychology perspective focusing on the impact of the internet as a technology on human beings. Thomas Spiller, Vice-President Global Public Policy at Disney introduced the strategy for a safe environment within the children’s community Club Penguin and the company’s efforts to promote safer internet issues for families. 
Patricia Manson, DG Connect, European Commission, introduced the youth panelists from different European countries, one member presented their most important issues/themes towards a better internet: humanity and inclusion, education and life-long learning, health, happiness and chances for career/employment.

After the multi-stakeholder round table presentations and views all experts joined working groups around the conference room to discuss future and emerging trends for a Better Internet for Kids. 
The outcome of all group discussions will be analyzed and summarized by the European Commission and will give a better view on which crucial issues the experts see for the coming years, which efforts will have to be continued and strengthened, which new topics will arise and so on. The event was concluded by Chair Director General Robert Madelin.

Award Ceremony „Best Content for Kids“ 

The round table event was followed by the award ceremony for the winners of the European Award “Best Content for Kids”. This award highlights existing quality content for 4-12 year-old children and encourages the production of new content that will offer young people online opportunities to learn, play, discover and invent. The competition ran throughout much of 2013 in 26 countries, with national winners then being put forward to the European-level award. The winners have therefore been selected from over 1,100 entries, including many ideas from talented young people themselves.
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda and for launching the strategy to make a better internet for children, inaugurated the award ceremony with a speech. Neelie Kroes specifically praised the great creative competition entries by children and teenagers themselves: "I see children and young people doing amazing things with digital tools. We need to encourage that, help them to be safe, and give them ways to create a better internet themselves – and to stand up against cyber-bullies.”
The awards were given to the adults and children from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia and the United Kingdom.

The winners of the Best Content Award

Winners for Adult non-professionals category:
1st Prize: Iceland, “”
games for entertaining, educational games for children in pre-school & primary school; developed by a teacher Anna Margrét Ólafsdóttir from Iceland

2nd Prize: Hungary, “Ludbriko”
3rd Prize: Belgium, “Met Lucas op stap in het ziekenhuis”

Winners for Adult professionals category:
1st Prize: Czech Republic,“Web a Webik Radia Junior”
The Czech creators of the website Web a Webik – Junior Radio offering youngsters recorded fairy tales, online games & other interactive features

2nd Prize: Portugal, “Kookie – Centum Square”
3rd Prize: UK, “Anti-social network video”

Winners for Young individuals or teams category:
1st Prize: Netherlands,“Lifesplash”
15 year old Dutch girl Jiami Xili Jongejan for her blog Lifesplash on fashion, school, cooking, and sports
2nd Prize: Poland, “Ksiazki na czacie”
3rd Prize: Russia: “блогобычногошкольника/ Blog”

Winners for School classes and youth groups category:
1st Prize: Poland,“Instrukcja obslugi jezyka polskiego”
Video blog about the Polish language created by the pupils of Saint John Cantius Primary School in Bestwina, Poland

2nd Prize: Romania, “Economic Star”
3rd Prize: Belgium, “KIDSCAM”

Further information and links:
Winners of European Award: Best Content for Kids
European Commission Press Release “Let’s create a better internet together”
Safer Internet Day activities of POSCON network members

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