“While the debates continue, one issue is clear: access to the information provided by the internet offers the possibility for children and adolescents of the world to benefit from sources of learning, leisure spaces and platforms for social exchange. However, unlimited connectivity – especially unsupervised – presents risks. Therefore, the task is to find a way to provide children and adolescents with the support and guidance they need so that they can make the most of their use of the networks ”. Unicef 2021
I invite you to review several issues related to the use of ICTs:
1.The benefits of Information Technologies (ICTs) for children and adolescents
2.Understanding What’s Behind the Network Online Risks
3.The use of ICTs by children and adolescents
4 online risks
- What can parents do?
- The benefits of ICTs for children and adolescents
For minors, today, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are the most used resource to interact with each other and the world. We cannot deny that the use of technology modifies the ways of accessing learning. They learn by watching tutorials, looking for the information they require on the web, doing their homework via instant messaging or researching topics through forums. It is very easy, with a click, we find fun, social life, information, art or whatever we can think of.
I invite you, as parents and guardians, to see it as an opportunity and a challenge as long as we accompany you on this path of learning. Talking with them about the responsible use of the web is the starting point for that. Let us ask ourselves questions: At home, are we using Tics for the benefit of all? Do I know which networks my children use and what they use them for? As an adult, am I being a model for the good use of ICTs?
- Understanding what is behind the network Risks online
As well as it presents benefits, many boys and girls under the age of 13 do not have the necessary maturity to choose the appropriate topics on the networks and, for example, understand what it means to give informed consent regarding the processing of their personal data. Privacy policies and terms of service are often written in difficult language and there seems to be no other option than to hand over personal data in order to use the service. The use of invasive techniques such as photo requests and webcam access are very concerning because it can invite them to share private information about them. Children, due to their lack of experience and maturity, do not understand the consequences that this can have once they circulate on the Internet.
It is of great importance to be close to the children and build trust so that they share their doubts and discuss the dangers on the Internet, Have you ever wondered who does your daughter tell or trust when she has doubts about any information received through of the networks? Are you interested in knowing what information she receives? What can you do so that you as a parent who trusts and does not look for answers on the street?
I invite you to be careful not to generalize about the use of ICTs, always, never, all or none, they do not exist! It all depends on how we use this technology, now virtuality is showing us how it can be useful to connect, so that our children continue to learn and feel less distant from family and friends, so that while it is possible, we can continue producing and working being at home, with the possibility of enjoying and accompanying our children.
THANK YOU FOR BEING ONE IN BUILDING A BETTER WORLD FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
Thanks to Unicef for allowing us to share their contributions on this important issue.