Hi, my name is Will Gardner and I am delighted to be here today. Thank you to Meldpunt for the kind invitation to share the experience in the UK on what we consider to be a very important issue.
I am talking about parents – how to reach parents. You have heard already about why reaching parents is so important. Share with you some of our experience, the work we do, a particular mention of reaching different social and economic backgrounds.
1999 study Childnet carried out for the EC, called Netaware, doing focus groups woith parents in 6 EU countries There was a huge demand for advice. Parents need to be made aware of the risks, but they need positive and practical messages.
Leaflets can be via schools, but some have been in retail stores, in Drs surgeries, libraries. Videos popular. Not just kids who prefer less text.
Parents are different! Leaflets in different languages. For the UK we have produced leaflets for parents in Urdu, Hindi and Bengali and Punjabi.
However, many parents do have very real fears and we need to acknowledge these and recognise that for many the internet brings very real anxiety. We live at a time of phenomenal change and “Constant change is here to stay” John Lennon quote “ Life is what happens when we’re busy making plans” and many parents .
When we undertook the production of ‘Know IT ALL for Parents’ we ran focus group sessions with parents in a range of locations. What we learnt from them was; That many parents feared getting left behind, and made to look stupid in front of their children. They appreciated the benefits to their children but said time and time again – they needed to understand the benefits for themselves – Indeed this echoes my point that parents won’t feel confident in helping their children avoid the risks if they don’t use the technology – and all the benefits – for themselves. And wanted it to be about situational use, not just safety. Interesting they said that they would mostly welcome and trust information from sources which they trust - especially their kids schools! They wanted it in a linear fashion not yet another leaflet or website but like Internet TV! - indeed if the internet itself makes learning fun so should our educational resources. Also in bite size chunks. SO they could go at their own speed, and choose what they wanted to see. Start with the basics but allow them to delve deeper if they want to find out more. Parents like their children don’t want to see text heavy pages. have So many of them told us that they wanted this in a language and style that they could understand. And finally they wanted easy messages and practical resources to show their children. Included children on the resource as well as a family agreement.
Parents and online technologies: Raising awareness with parents (Will Gardner)