Almost sixty teachers from 26 districts of Moldova gathered at the beginning of December to discuss the children safety online at the "Intersection" Conference. The event was organized by the La Strada in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova.
The conference is an initiative developed by La Strada in the Children's Program to support the creative, healthy and safe exploration of online resources by children and teenagers. In other words, the initiative aims to prevent child online abuse. In two days, 30 gymnasium teachers and 29 primary school teachers received free education in the field of educating children's safe behaviours on the Internet.
The “Intersection” is about clever, sociable, extremely curious, sometimes too naive children. It is also about teachers who care about what happens in the pupils' universe beyond class hours. It's about school and the talents of teachers to guide the child to choose the safest way to explore new things in the virtual space - without harmful and illegal content, that can compromise or harm them, without aggressive or too personal communication", said Elena BOTEZATU , Director of the Children's Program, La Strada.
On December 1, gymnasium teachers have learned how to deal with teenagers on topics related to relationships and communication in the online environment. La Strada specialists have brought teachers useful examples and case studies from the experience gained over eight years by the Child Mobile Team, specializing in the prevention and protection of minors from online abuse. Relevant data on typical teenagers behaviour on the Internet was presented; the teenager's practices and attitudes towards the transmission of intimate explicit photos and videos in the online environment were evaluated. In addition, teachers have identified, guided by La Strada specialists, the conditions in which sexting is no longer harmless to teenagers, but it becomes a real risk that can lead to abuse.
The content of the December 8 conference was created and adapted to the expectations of teachers working with children of 7-11 year olds. Teachers have learned from SigurOnline.md team specialists how children of low school age react when they give harmful content on the Internet; what national and international research data say about it; where they hide the most serious risks and how they can be identified; what consequences can bring these contents into the behaviour and psyche of a child, in the short and long term, and how it actually becomes a child to create video or textually intimate content. The organizers have conveyed to teachers the idea that forbidding teenagers and children today to use the Internet and communicate on social networks, is absolutely wrong. The teacher's mission is to encourage and support them in the use of digital resources, promoting a safe online area for learners, speaking in their language and remaining attentive and responsive to the interests and needs of children in the digital age.
"We're trying to find together the best ways to work with children on online security; to bring a little light on the topics children usually do not tell us about, understand why they do not, and why they do less or even worse things in their lives "because of" online relationships" motivated Cristina VASCHEVICI, educational project manager, La Strada.
The “Intersection” Conference is at its first edition. The next edition of the event is scheduled for the spring of 2019.
Informative note: Children's online safety is one of the main concerns of the International Center "La Strada". The Philosophy of the Children's Program, in this regard, lies in the fact that we are addressing this security by educating safe children and teenager behaviours online, equipping them with tools and techniques that will keep them away from dangers. We are talking about educational resources that necessarily correspond to developmental specificities of age and individual learning abilities, which will help them to explore online resources such as crossing a busy intersection with intense traffic and many traffic signs. That is why INTERSECTION is the generic of a new event format, intended exclusively for offline learners to provide a safe online area for their students.