The World Safer Internet Day is a concept outlined by Insafe, an organisation cofounded by the European Union.
With the Slogan “ It’s more than a game, its your LIfe!”, the idea behind the Safer Internet day is to sensitize and protect children the world over from the dangers of the internet.
It is celebrated each year in february to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.
This year the celebrations in Kenya were on 8th of February 2011 and sponsored by Project Discovery (www.projectdiscovery.or.ke) together with partners Makini School (www.makinischool.com) ICWE AFRICA (www.icwe.co.ke), Ministry of Information and Communication (www.information.go.ke), Kenya Network Information Centre (www.kenic.or.ke), Computer Society of Kenya (www.cskonline.org), Microsoft and Afriregister Ltd (www.Afriregister.com)
Putting together students in Standard 4,5 and 6 from Hillcrest, Hospital Hill, Makini, Visa Oshwal and Moi Educational Schools, the kids were taken through different content and trained on what to look out for to ensure a safer internet.
It was quite startling, yet pleasant, to note that in the room of about 500 children, 90% said they owned mobile phones and had personal email addresses!
There were different presentations, games,quizzes and interactions by Microsoft, The Computer Society of Kenya and Kenic but the highlight was the keynote address from the Ministry of Information and Communication.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication, Dr. Bitange Ndemo made a presentation on the Changing Education Paradigms.
He outlined how education right now is archaic, based on models built for the middle ages. Children in their homes are bombarded by multiple stimuli from cellphones, tv, toys, radio, TV, their mom talking and little fights with siblings, all at the same time , from an early age.
We then take them to a classroom where a single source of stimuli, (The Teacher), in a droning tone, goes on and on for fourty minutes and the child is expected to be interested.
As such the child cannot be interested and we find ourselves stating that they are “Learning Impaired” or “ Suffering from ADHD”.
This also reminds me of the teachings of Jacques Fresco, as he talks of the future of the world.
I strayed from the point and got carried away a bit. 😀
The main point that Dr. Bitange Ndemo made was that our learning systems in education should integrate with the world and environment that the child is already living in, that of Information Technology and Multimedia.
After which he was asked questions by them!
Here are a few gems:
- Where did the internet come from?
- What is being done to stop Cybercafes from showing bad things?
- How is an Internet Useful?
- Who owns the Internet?
- Is it only children who should be safe in the internet?
- Is anything in the computer true?
- Is Wikileaks affecting the internet?
After the session was done, the children and guests were treated to refreshments.
The children signed an agreement,which they keep, to be true to themselves and be safe on the internet.
- Microsoft to celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day’ to help protect kids online (thenextweb.com)
- Innovating with Meaning: What’s The Incentive? (semacraft.com)
- Safer Internet Day (ictineducation.org)
- Safer Internet Day: It’s More than a Game, it’s Your Life (blogs.technet.com)
- Safer Internet Day / Online Safety Resources (connectwithyourteens.net)
- Safer Internet Day highlights online gaming safety (telegraph.co.uk)