In 2013, the Web We Want: a handbook for teenagers, developed by and for young people, was launched. The handbook provides exercises and tips on a range of different online issues such as online rights and responsibilities, online identity, privacy, and so on.
Having in mind the need to teach online issues at the classroom, the Web We Want handbook for Educators, designed by and for teachers, was launched today, 18 March 2015 at the Google offices in Brussels.
Our Youth Ambassadors, Grace and Kathrin, were present at the launch event. Grace was part of the panel called ‘Skilling European citizens for the future’ where the Youth Manifesto initiative served as an example of youth-led initiative that engages young people to voice their views on the future of the internet and encourages them to promote active citizenship and participation skills. The digital version of the Youth Manifesto publication, which outlines the ten key principles that European youth have identified as essential to creating a better internet for the future, is now available at www.youthmanifesto.eu.
Since 2004 a lot has changed. Services like Snapchat or Instagram have spread widely and today a huge group of young people uses them. These services focus on spreading moments and emotions in real time with your friends.
I believe that these apps have significantly changed the way young people think about privacy and safety online. What was once considered as inappropriate to post is now OK. The boarders between inappropriate and appropriate shrank a lot.
So let me repeat a sentence you have heard probably thousand times: Think twice before you post! And in these times, think three times. I can guarantee you; you will appreciate these tips, when you will be applying for a job or university.
I will celebrate Safer Internet Day, because I believe everyone should think once again about his or her behavior online.
“Certainly 10th of February will not have more hours than the rest 365 days of the year. Despite that, I believe it will be a better day. Its symbolic aspect means that everybody can take action creating a positive internet environment.”
“When 28 per cent of young children until the age of 12 access the internet through smartphones, according to an EU Kids Online report, it is more important than ever to guarantee their safety. These children can be misled by the risks they are up against and days like Safer Internet Day (SID) will allow parents and teachers to alert and support them. ”
“As in former editions, SID 2015 is a European initiative that is aimed at drawing everyone’s attention to the online rights and responsibilities. This year is no different, with the launch of the Youth Manifesto, the declaration where 10 key principles on how to make the Internet better are stated.”
“Maybe I am just a teenager from Portugal, but I know I am not alone. Causes like this deserve to be fought and I want definitely to be an example. Do like me and join your country initiatives, spread the word and take the most from the day! “
‘Shouldn’t we have the right to decide who we want to be online as much as offline? Shouldn’t we decide if we want a naked picture of ourselves published online for everyone to see? Shouldn’t we have the option to decide whether or not we want to be in the digital world? I think we should.’ Read more…
“At the Future Classroom Lab at European Schoolnet, technology was found at its best. We got to use the new technology to collect our ideas discussed about in groups about apps, ads and positive content. Finally we shared our ideas with the others.”
Riika from Finland
“In the beginning, I was little afraid of the meeting and did not dare to communicate with other. After a while, I started to really think about the topic of internet safety. Young people from different countries wanted to communicate with me, they asked about sign language, asked about me and how I feel. I showed them the Spread the Sign (www.spreadthesign.com) website where you can write a word and watch the video to say the word in sign language.”
Odetta from Lithuania
“When it comes to our rights online, I do of course think many of them are important. But I think freedom of expression and the right to information access are extremely important. I think all youth should be able to speak their mind and have an opinion. I also think the world, including the terrible parts of it, shouldn’t be hidden from us. Even though adults do it meaning well, when they maybe set up filters to protect us, I don’t think it’s the right solution.
“We should be able to explore the world and then make mistakes and learn from them. I believe in helping instead of controlling because, of course, our parents should not just leave us alone on the internet but they should help us and be there for us – just like they are in our offline lives. They should be with us on the internet from when we are small and teach us how to behave so that we, both when we are still young and when we get older, can use all the positive thing about the internet and experience the many opportunities the internet gives us, without having too many problems. I believe the internet is an amazing place and we should be able to enjoy and explore it without a constant fear or bad experiences. This includes young children too!”
Olivia, 15, Finland