With an aim to educate students, parents and educators on online safety, the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore has launched a three month long campaign. With a web site, roving bus and competition, MDA hopes to teach young internet users how to protect themselves and know what sources on the internet is trustworthy.
“This campaign is a holistic and concert approach to educate children on cyber wellness,” said Cassandra Tay, Director, Communications and Community & International Relations, MDA, to FutureGov Asia Pacific.
Starting its tour of schools and libraries on 17 February, the Cyber Wellness Roving Bus has seen over 1600 children touring it within the first week and it will run till early next year to give all primary schools a chance at experiencing its exhibits. Designed to resemble a mobile classroom and fitted with interactive kiosks, the bus will educate students on cyber wellness issues—like cyber bullying, privacy protection and gaming and internet use—through interactive games and quizzes.
The students are also encouraged to record their cyber experiences in e-journals, using an online eBook application, and submit them for a Digital Diary Competition.
“We have also set up the Cyber Wellness Portal where parents and educators can find out more about these concern areas, learn practical tips from experts or mutually share experiences through the discussion forum,” Tay said. “There will also be talks and workshops on cyber wellness conducted at various locations in the coming weeks.”
To demonstrate the campaign organisers understanding of internet and the life of digital natives, Tay gave all students tips to online safety in less than 140 characters—just like a tweet:
“Protect privacy. Surf moderately. Report cyber bullies/inappropriate content. Always seek permission when using others’ work.”
The Cyber Wellness campaign has identified seven key cyber wellness areas to focus on (Privacy, Gaming & Internet Use, Cyber Bullying & Positive Netiquette, Cyber Safety, Handling Inappropriate Content, Cyber Security and Copyright) and has a total of 23 partners, ranging from the Ministry of Education to MICA, the National Crime Prevention Council and private sector participants.
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