Lidija Kralj MIPRO 2014 v2

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Lidija Kralj MIPRO 2014 v2

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Lidija Kralj MIPRO 2014 v2

  1. 1. Children's safety on the Internet - development of the school curriculum Lidija Kralj* * Osnovna škola Veliki Bukovec, Veliki Bukovec, Croatia lidija.kralj@skole.hr Abstract - Generations that are currently receiving their education and those yet to come should get prepared for everyday interaction with information and communication technology. European Parliament and the Council of the European Union included digital competence in key competencies which each person needs to possess in order to adapt to the rapidly changing world. Their definition of digital competence, along with knowledge and skills, include critical attitude toward the responsible use of ICT. At the moment, Croatia does not have a national strategy for the internet safety and not even the minimum of children's knowledge about appropriate and safe use of internet is obligatory in school curriculum. OŠ Veliki Bukovec together with partners OŠ Popovača, OŠ "Mladost", OŠ "Gripe" and OŠ "Mato Lovrak", is running a 16-month European Union-funded project " Children's safety on the Internet " developing new school curriculum area for children's safety on the Internet for students aged 7 -14, their parents, teachers and local community. Curriculum will consist of pedagogical-didactical model, acceptable use policies, multimedia resources, textbooks and guides. The project aims to improve students’ digital competences and encourage children to assume responsibility for their own safety with a focus on empowerment, emphasizing responsible behavior and digital citizenship and to raise student teacher, parents and general public awareness and understanding of issues relating to children’s safety online in synergy with the EU policies. I. INTRODUCTION Generations that are currently receiving their education and those yet to come should get prepared for everyday interaction with information and communication technology (ICT). This was recognized by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union [1] which included digital competence in key competencies which each person needs to possess in order to adapt to the rapidly changing world. Their definition of digital competence, along with knowledge and skills, include critical attitude toward the responsible use of ICT. Currently, students in compulsory schools in Croatia have a chance to obtain ICT related skills and knowledge only if they choose an elective subject - Informatics in grades 5 to 8, or if similar extra- curriculum activity is enabled for grades 1 to 4 [2]. Therefore not even the minimum of children's knowledge about appropriate and safe use of internet is obligatory at the time and none of Croatian schools has developed an acceptable use policy regarding the use of ICT and mobile devices in schools. Education Sector Development Plan 2005-2010 [3] considers equipping people with the skills to use information and communication technology in everyday life as one of the prerequisites for active involvement in an information-based society. In National Curriculum Framework [4] the use of ICT is transversal theme the aim of which is to develop information literacy skills as part of competences for lifelong learning. All children should reach minimum standard and gain experience and practices regarding risky and safe use of the Internet and new online technologies. Children should be prepared to use computers and the Internet, get advice appropriate to their age, with emphasis on visibility and public availability of their personal information on the Internet, various nasty, malicious and harmful effects which happen in online communication while encouraging creativity and lifelong learning through the exploration and learning through the Internet. According to the latest UNICEF's survey in Croatia [5], 85% of children have Internet access at home, their favorite activities on the Internet are seeking entertainment, communication with friends, and use of social networking sites while using the internet for research and learning are less frequent. The same survey showed that 34% of children experienced some form of electronic violence and that usual teachers' reaction when faced with such cases is asking for advice from an expert. Therefore, teachers need further professional development in that area to prevent electronic violence and successfully deal with children's safety on the Internet. EU Kids Online research "Risks and safety on the internet" encompassing 25 countries in 2011 [6] showed that the average age of first internet use is seven, that 93% of children aged 9 - 16 use internet daily or several times a week and that 55% of them have public profiles with personal information published on social networks. 12% of European children say that they have been bothered or upset by something on the internet. The research findings suggest that digital skills training needs continued emphasis and updating in terms of training, safety features and applications operation to ensure that all children reach a minimum basic standard and to prevent digitally isolated and unskilled children. All policy actors have the responsibility to ensure greater availability of age-
  2. 2. appropriate positive content for children, especially in small language communities such as Croatia. EU Safer Internet programme recommend using programs that include children, parents and teachers to develop effective models of support for children using the internet for learning and research. Such model of targeted initiatives is especially important for countries in Eastern Europe, where there is a major difference between child and parental knowledge of the capabilities of the Internet. Those demonstrate the importance of incorporating courses and learning objects about children's safety on the Internet into the school curriculum of compulsory education in Croatia. II. PROJECT AIMS Project Children's safety on the Internet is a 16-month European Union-funded project developed by OŠ Veliki Bukovec, together with partners OŠ Popovača, OŠ "Mladost", OŠ "Gripe" and OŠ "Mato Lovrak", Croatia, financed from grant scheme Further development and implementation of the Croatian Qualifications Framework (Europeaid/131254/ M/ACT/HR). The project is taking place in Croatia from 19th August 2013 till 19th December 2014. Project associates include Education and Teacher training agency (Agencija za odgoj i obrazovanje), Croatian academic and Research net (Hrvatska akademska i istraživačka mreža CARNet), Croatian personal data protection agency (Agencija za zaštitu osobnih podataka), Association “Partners in learning (udruga "Suradnici u učenju"), municipality of Veliki Bukovec ( Općina Veliki Bukovec), municipality of Mali Bukovec (Općina Mali Bukovec), Brodsko-posavska county, City and Univesity library Osijek, City of Nova Gradiška and Tourism office Nova Gradiška. The project has been designed after consultations with the Education and Teacher Training Agency, public institution responsible for teachers’ training, CARNet and the NGO Suradnici u učenju as Safer Internet Committee for Croatia. Partner schools get support from their Counties who consider this project to be a great potential for county development. All consulted organizations highly recommend this project and will be involved in project realization and dissemination. The project objectives are: • to develop, according to principles of the Croatian Qualifications Framework (CROQF), learning outcome-based school curriculum area for children's safety on the Internet which will enable holistic approach involving students, parents and teachers on the same goal; • to develop and implement appropriate pedagogical and didactical model for student centered learning which will make the most of teachers' potentials and new technology strength; • to improve primary school teachers’ educational skills and expertise so they could apply the new methodologies for student centered learning and principles of CROQF in their work; • to improve students’ digital competences and encourage children to assume responsibility for their own safety as much as possible with focus on empowerment, emphasizing responsible behavior and digital citizenship; • to raise students, teachers, parents and general public awareness and understanding of issues relating to the children’s safety online in synergy with the EU policies. Project facilitates cooperation and experience exchange as well as sharing best practice between Croatian and EU schools on issues relating to children’s safety online and thus ensure European added value. Furthermore, project promotes gender equality and equal opportunities through carefully chosen characters and their roles in all forms of learning materials. Digital materials have options for modification for use by disabled people. Project also gives equal opportunities to all students to reach standard learning outcomes in area of safe, legal and ethical behavior on the Internet and to prevent digitally isolated and unskilled children. III. PROJECT ACTIVITIES The project is going to last for 16 months with activities organized in four phases during which the school capacity for implementation of student centered learning will be improved and modernized. First 6 months were the Research phase - pedagogical team of teachers individually and during 2 study visits (Belgium and United Kingdom) explored the existing school curriculum and examples of good practice in the area of online child safety in EU. First study visit was Insafe and European Schoolnet, which works in the area of Internet safety and has continuous experience in professional development for teachers. Second study visit was to the United Kingdom, to schools which have perennial experience in development of school curriculum and implementation of topics about e-safety in teaching ICT and other subjects and acceptable use policies implemented. The pedagogical team was trained in 2 workshops (Plitvička jezera and Đurđevac) related to e-safety, EU policies and strategies, curriculum development, determining learning outcomes and learner-centered educational methods and then prepared a report and planned strategies for curriculum development. Next 6 months is the Development phase - all teachers are trained in 5 workshops where colleagues who have attended study visits and workshops will share their experience and knowledge (cascade training). Pedagogical team will work on development and publishing of school curriculum area (compound of 4 courses & sets of materials for students, teachers and parents) for children's safety on the Internet with specified learning outcomes according to the principles of CROQ. During this phase all partner schools are equipped with mobile learning environment with modern tablets, interactive board and wireless access to internet.
  3. 3. Two months of Testing and improvement phase follows - developed school curriculum area will be tested, evaluated and improved according to students, parents and teachers feedbacks. Research regarding students digital competences and parental knowledge of the capabilities of the Internet will be carried out as part of the pilot project. New versions of curriculum and learning object will be published and made freely available. Last 2 months will be the Dissemination phase - devoted entirely to dissemination of project results, reporting and evaluation. Final conference and exhibition of students' works resulting from the pilot project will be held. IV. CURRICULUM School curriculum will consist of four courses addressing one of four age groups in primary schools (students aged 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14). That level of curriculum structure is chosen to enable the creation of age appropriate contents and methods in balance with available resources for this project. One set of teaching/learning materials would include textbooks for students, multimedia resources, teachers' guides and guides for parents. Learning objects within teaching/learning materials will be created in form of text, hypertext, pictures, animated stories, videos, audios, computer games, social games, coloring pages, photos, interactive quizzes, learning quests. Colorful characters have been created and will be used in all learning resources so curriculum will have unique and recognizable multimedia representations. Special attention will be paid to the flexibility of learning objects so students with disabilities can use them more easily. Every course will be described in terms of learning outcomes, as well as knowledge, skills and competences. That description will include theoretical knowledge, practical and technical skills and social competences needed for responsible, safe and appropriate use of the Internet. Evaluation methods, associating self-assessment, feedback mechanisms and procedures for improvement will be planned in each course. Acceptable Use Policy for ICT in schools will be created. School curriculum area for children's safety on the Internet is vertically adjusted in five units: information, communication, content creation, safety and problem solving as recommended in EU Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe [7]. Some of the topics covered in curriculum are; personal data protection, e-mail phishing and scams, netiquette, online communication and collaboration, risks on social networks, responsible use of mobile devices, sharing and authoring rights, identity theft, digital footprints, e-portfolios and online presence, evaluation of information on the Internet, how to protect computer and family, prevention of cyberbullying. School curriculum would be tested and evaluated by two sides - schools which take part in project and external advisors. To be sure that school curriculum area is well planned and all resources well created, pilot testing will be performed with 220 students and 220 parents - 2 classes from each participating schools. After feedback and recommendations, school curriculum would be adjusted and prepared for publication and further implementation V. IMPACT The proposed action is directly targeting the following target groups: teachers, students and parents. Teachers in Croatian primary schools have the basic level of ICT competencies but usually poor knowledge about capabilities of the Internet, possible risks, safety measures and prevention of electronic violence. They have only general information about CROQF, learning outcomes and student-oriented approaches. During the project 15 teachers attended 2 study visits, 25 teachers participated in 2 five-day workshops, and 218 teachers (all teachers and principals from partner schools) will be trained in the area of e-safety. The project will be disseminated among approximately 2500 teachers participating in 50 County Teacher Councils in different subjects in 5 counties where partner schools are situated. Today, students grow up surrounded by a variety of digital and electronic devices and online tools. They often misuse those devices and embrace potentially risky behavior on the Internet. Students need guidance in how to behave in a safe, legal and ethical way and protect themselves on the Internet. 220 students aged 7-14 will be involved in a pilot project of implementation of developed school curriculum area. During the pilot testing participating students will create at least one practical work in which they present the knowledge they have gained, and give advice to peers about responsible, appropriate and safe use of Internet. Students' works will be showcased on the project web and at the final conference as an exhibition of works resulting from the implementation of new curriculum. Approximately 2700 students will be involved in awareness raising campaign and school curriculum implementation during this and next school year. Parents often have poor knowledge about opportunities and risks related to the use of the Internet and children usually know more than parents. Therefore parents’ awareness about the internet safety issues have to be raised and they need to be educated in order to support their children. 220 parents of the students involved in the pilot project will also take part in the project and give feedback. Approximately 2700 parents will be reached after the project results are implemented in all classes of the partner schools. Local community and general public will be positively influenced through raising awareness about internet safety. To accompany school curriculum and establish stronger connection between educational institutions and local community, awareness raising campaign was created. Awareness raising campaign includes workshops, exhibitions, lectures, interactive round tables, articles, radio and TV shows targeting on local, regional and national level. Project publicity and dissemination
  4. 4. activities will be synchronized with that campaign so every event will serve both causes - raising awareness and project dissemination. VI. CONCLUSION At the moment, Croatia does not have a national strategy towards the internet safety so our project could be used as a reference or case study for future prevention programme or national strategy and all project results may easily be available for future use on the national level. School curriculum with four courses and all associated teaching/learning materials will be published in digital form online and made freely available on project web page petzanet.HR for all interested schools. The long-term project objective is to reach every single primary school in Croatia through different national seminars and online publication. Awareness raising campaign will set model to help other schools in establishing connection between school and local community on common goal of protecting children on the Internet. REFERENCES [1] Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on key competences for lifelong learning, 2006. [2] "Nastavni plan i program za osnovnu školu," Ministarstvo znanosti, obrazovanja i športa, Zagreb 2006. [3] "Education Sector Development Plan 2005-2010",Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, Zagreb, 2005. [4] "Nacionalni okvirni kurikulum", Ministarstvo znanosti, obrazovanja i športa, Zagreb 2011. [5] J. Pregrad, et. al."Iskustva i stavovi djece, roditelja i učitelja prema elektroničkim medijima", Ured UNICEF-a za Hrvatsku, 2011. [6] S. Livingstone, L. Haddon, A. Görzig. and K. Ólafsson, "Risks and safety on the internet: The perspective of European children", Full Findings. LSE, London: EU Kids Online, 2011. [7] A. Ferrari, "DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe", Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2013.

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