In a society where Internet in schools is become more and more commom, knowing how to face the learning process in kids under 12, became an essential building block. Parents and teachers need to recognize that on the Internet kids aren’t just watching, they are interacting with other people. With this in mind, the Aragon Spain Chapter applied to Beyond the Net Funding Programmer with the aim of educating Aragonese parents and kids with skills and tools for a safer use of online resources. I asked few questions to Andres Gomez to get a deeper insight of their project.
Tell us the purpose of this project and what is your role.
As a manager of the Spain Aragon Chapter, I launched this project along with some other members. Our aim is teaching children how to use the Internet in a responsible way. They will learn how to protect themselves against online threats and how to avoid kids bullying. We don’t want to use parental control or similar vigilance tools because we firmly think that prohibition is Not the Answer. We are going to create new educational tools, providing children with the right skills to detect and avoid dangers. My role is Project Coordinator.
What background led to this project?
Children and the Internet is one of our biggest concerns. I worry about my sons, but I think that parental overprotection can be as dangerous as a lack of protection. Your decision could deprive them of access to fantastic resources for legitimate information. But your children might be sneaking around the Internet filters without your knowledge, and that’s when the danger increases. They may come into contact with demeaning, racist, sexist, violent, hateful and false information, or even worst they may encounter online predators. I decided to create this project starting from my point of view, bringing together a team with the best professional skills to make it a success. Our final goal will also be the creation of a new Chapter dedicated to children security policies.
What do you expect to achieve, listing three main project objectives?
As a first step, we are going to take a survey of parents and teachers concerns about the safety of their children when surfing the Internet. A clear understanding of the problem will provide us the right information. Next step will be creating educational tools to make children safer. Later we will provide parents and teachers with surveillance tools to watch their kid’s behavior.
How will this contribute to Chapter’s local presence and Internet Society’s mission in general?
Currently, the interest of Internet Society in our local community has declined. I think this project will be an opportunity to rekindle interests on Internet policies. The involvement of external agents is satisfactory, and we are working to increase it. Also to enhancing the Spain Aragon Chapter, the ultimate goal of the project is the creation of a Chapter for children where they will express their wishes and needs. A key role of this Chapter will be ensuring the legislation and the protection tools to be the most helpful for children. We want our community to be aware that these children will be the Internet users of the future. We hope that our activities will increase people’s interest in this important topic.