The Internet safety training of Smart Kid Security (SKS) has launched successfully at a Berlin KiTa. It teaches the basics of a responsible use of the Internet in a playful way. Preschoolers were enthusiastic about taking their first steps towards becoming Internet safety experts. The key to the success of the training was the selection of the right pair of ears.
Children nowadays get a lot of visual input, be it in digital form or on the street. Especially in big cities like Berlin, it’s hard to stand out or even be remembered. But that was exactly my goal when I first met the children – to stand out through my fox ears and be remembered.
Why? Because Internet safety is important. When children play with their stuffed animal cats, watch a cartoon or see a fox on the street, they should think: “Hey, the woman who discovers the Internet with us in KiTa and who constantly talks about data has the same ears!” Everyday situations should remind them of our Internet safety training, because the Internet also surrounds them everyday.
Another crucial element, which should not go unmentioned here, is our Security Kid Sash, which every child gets at the beginning of training to attach future badges. I will report on our gamification approach and how abstract constructs such as the Internet and privacy can be presented in a playful and child-friendly way in a detailed blog entry. But I can already tell you this much: the children were quite proud and excited to start after receiving their sashes symbolizing to be admissioned to our Smart Kid Academy.
We held the training sessions with a KiTa preschool group. Usually between 6-8 children aged 4-5 years were present. As expected, almost all of the preschoolers were permanent Internet users and therefore familiar with Smart Devices and the Internet. As a precaution I had some devices with me and prepared a slow introduction, in which we would become familiar with the devices etc., but when it came to me: “I also have one at home”, we simply jumped straight into the subject.
The central idea of this first meeting was the active perception of the omnipresence of technology. As well as a first playful examination of the way the Internet works, the role of children in it and, in particular, the role and value of the data they leave behind during use.
Our first Digital Wellbeing unit was about exploring what children already know and getting an impression of what they think of the “Internet”. The ideas ranged from fantastic to amazingly accurate ideas about “what and how” the Internet is. From subterranean worlds to distant real places “somewhere near Australia” to “huge shopping malls that can be visited via the computer”.
This was a great start for the following activities, which I will explain in more detail in my next blog post. The kids loved telling about their experiences and actually couldn’t stop.
Why don’t you ask your children what the Internet is and share the answers with us in our Facebook group?
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