The positives and the negatives of the cyberspace

Despite their young age, the Northern Ireland WYRED group of children is very clear-headed about the online world.

They were asked to share their thoughts on the positives and the negatives of the cyberspace and that is what came out.

They do like how easy it is to interact with their friends and families through, for example, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. No matter how far you are, these new means of communication make you able to stay in touch with the people you love.

“You can shop online”, a child says and “it is a great way to pass the time”.

The entire group agrees on it. The online world is very entertaining: you can listen to the music, watch video on YouTube and play online games with your friends.

The cyberspace also satisfies your curiosities: “I like being able to research on google”, “I like that I can see different places around the world and what they are like”, “It gives you an idea of other stuff that is going on around the world”.

Anyway, the children are not deceived by the bright side of the online world. On the contrary, they are aware of the risks hiding behind the computer screen.

They don’t like that personal information concerning them can be easily seen from people they don’t know. They feel their data are exposed to several dangers: “People can find your digital footprint and work out what websites you have visited”, “bad people can put a virus on your device”, “I don’t like that you can get hacked“.

These children don’t feel safe due to the the lack of privacy: “I don’t like that other people can be rude and see where you live”. They fear they can be tricked and, of course, the risk of Cyberbullying is just around the corner.

They can also run into some harmless trouble, such as lagging, a wifi that doesn’t work, or annoying and inappropriate ads coming on during a video.

 

 

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“The most important thing about Cyberbullying”

The Northern Ireland WYRED group, composed of children from 10 to 11 years old, draws our attention to the problem of Cyberbullying.

As part of Cycle 2, one group of children from Tyrone, through their social dialogues and research gave valuable insights into this topic.

The Children were asked if they had a microphone and the whole world was listening, what was the most important thing they discovered about Cyberbullying?

“Not to Cyberbully cause it can hurt and treat people the same”.

“The bully never wins”

“Don’t Cyberbully because you don’t know what affect it will have on them”.

“If you Cyberbully, you probably have low self esteem.”

“ I would tell them, if you ever got into this situation, there is always a way through it, if you get help.”

“The effect on the victim is sad”.

“People look at cyberbullying in different ways”.

“Cyberbullying is hurtful and the wrong thing to do.”

“Lots of people get Cyberbullied when they are young and old.”

This topic challenged the children not only to think about the online world but also the real and lasting impact cyberbullying has on children and young people’s emotional wellbeing. The children decided that they could best reflect their research through a video that depicts the effects of cyberbullying.

We will display the brilliant artefacts of all the Children as part of the Final research phase.

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How differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children. Could digital tools empower them?

The objective of the group was to investigate how differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children. Could digital tools empower them? 

Methodology: active research trough an interview video in which it describes all the different perspective that interviewed children have on the topics mentioned above. 

Target group: children aged from 6 to 10 years old attending a Children’s home.

 

Recommendations: 

Taking into account the incapacity for children to understand some terms or behaviours, a small tool like videos helped them comprehend better what was the context. Understanding the ages, it is important to use a relevant and friendly context. Discussion sometimes is not enough. Visual and digital tools are necessary. Specially as we and they grow in a digital era. This frame of bullying and extreme behaviours will be part of their lives offline and online. Therefore it is important to: 

Stress the need to promote more activities in order to engage children into a discussion about tolerance, inclusion, exclusion and perception of diversity. That needs a balance between online and offline aspects with the use of various tools. That includes digital tools, that visualise examples and test the “understanding of concepts”. 

To correctly explain the meaning of these words and teach them the importance of tolerance among different cultures and opinions, so with more probability they will avoid discriminatory and bullying actions when they grown up. Children don’t really know the meaning of discrimination and bullying and they see all their classmates equal. As this process connects to them entering the digital world very soon, it should also link this concepts on the online part. Today digital connects to both offline and online with no gap between them. Children are really open minded and fast learner, so we should put all our efforts to build up a new inclusive generation, using any possible means.

 

Objectives: 
How differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children.

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