European Network and Information Security Agency Publishes 18 Protective Recommendations Against Key Risks for Cyber Bullying & Online Grooming

The EU Agency ENISA, the (European Network and Information Security Agency) has launched a new report on cyber bullying and online grooming (preparing sexual abuse); warning that misuse of data (data mining and profiling) harms minors. The report identifies the top emerging risks and makes 18 non-technical recommendations for their mitigation. One key recommendation is to strengthen Member State’s law enforcement agencies. Other recommendations point to safeguards adapted to the needs of youth’s cyber activities.

Digital devices and the internet now play a significant role in children’s lives. Today’s young people live their online lives in both private and educational settings. This is an environment radically different from that of their parents, in their childhoods. Risks in a child’s online environment can be detrimental to their physical activities and social skills, argues the ENISA Expert Group on Internet risks.

The report details a scenario of 13-year old Kristie’s changed behavior, poor grades and negative attitudes due to abuse in her online life. Many parents lose control, as they lack knowledge and tools to support their children, the report argues. The Agency thus issues 18 recommendations to mitigate identified risks.


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Roadmap for Digital Inclusion Completed at “Innovation for Digital Inclusion” Conference in Poland

Adoption of a document relevant for the future of all EU citizens – “Gdansk Roadmap for Digital Inclusion” – concluded the “Innovation for Digital Inclusion” conference in Gdansk, Poland. It’s participants drafted the “Roadmap” in order to indicate to the European Commission the priority actions to be taken in the immediate future.

Carrying out of these actions may speed up the process of digital inclusion for 150 millions Europeans who are thus far excluded, and deliver a new and much needed impetus for EU’s economies struggling to overcome the current crisis. Importance of the document was underlined by Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commision responsible for Digital Agenda, herself present in Gdańsk.

“Gdansk Roadmap for Digital Inclusion” was drafted as a result of on-line cooperation in weeks leading up to the conference, with the involvement of e-inclusion specialists from throughout Europe. The simple fact that authors recruited from among practitioners who are on a daily basis engaged in e-inclusion and who possess a good knowledge of needs and obstacles standing in way of e-inclusion, only adds to the value of the “Roadmap.”

Our document provides inspiration to all sides actively promoting e-inclusion, outlining strategies and concepts combating digital divide and defining European inclusion policies,” stated Krzysztof Głomb, the president of “Cities on Internet” Association, at the document’s unveiling. The initiator and co-organizer of the Gdańsk conference stresses that authors of the document paid particular attention to the value of digital education. This corresponds with the opinion by the European Economic and Social Committee prepared and adopted in mid July of this year. According to the Committee, access to infrastructure and tools should be considered as a fundamental right, but without the education e-inclusion of digitally illiterate Europeans will not be accomplished,” Krzysztof Głomb adds.

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Freedom Rings Partnership will bring Internet access, training, and technology to low-income residents of Philadelphia

The Freedom Rings Partnership is a $25 million federally-funded initiative led by the Urban Affairs Coalition and the City of Philadelphia, with Drexel University as a major partner.

The Freedom Rings Partnership is made up of grassroots organizations, government, and universities that will bring Internet access, training and technology to residents in low-income communities.  This multi-year initiative officially kicked off on January 17, 2011 by sponsoring the signature project of the MLK Day of Service – refurbishing used computers to be distributed back into the community, assembling digital literacy kits, and hosting a high-tech scavenger hunt called “Race to Connect.”

“The goal of the Freedom Rings Partnership is to help eliminate the digital divide by enhancing and expanding underserved communities’ knowledge of and access to the Internet so they can acquire information about employment, education, health, and community and economic development, said Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “This project will open doors, enhance lives and create access and job opportunities through technology.”

The Freedom Rings Partnership will reach over 100,000 Philadelphians with information about the importance of broadband to their daily lives; provide hands-on training to 15,000 people at over 130 locations citywide, including 77 public computer centers; and distribute 5,000 “netbooks” to public housing residents who complete technology skills training. Public Computer Centers (PCC) will be located across Philadelphia, primarily in north, south and west Philadelphia.  Locations will include a variety of recreation centers, health and social service organizations, workforce development agencies, and nonprofits. In addition, 4 mobile computer labs will travel throughout the city to provide training and Internet access to underserved communities.

The first Graduation Ceremony for the Freedom Rings Computer Training Program, held Aug. 11, 2011. Each graduate to complete the program walked home with a free Dell netbook computer. Courtesy of GPUAC.

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Google Internet Bus Exposes Offline Population in India to Internet

Google is taking the Internet on the road with its Internet Bus Project in India.

The Internet Bus Project is an attempt to educate people about what the Internet is, and how it may be beneficial to their lives, by taking the Internet experience to them through a customized Internet-enabled bus, which will travel to several towns and cities across India. You can see pictures of its travels here.

This unique project has great potential for starting the spread of Digital Literacy in the cities and towns that it travels to by educating people about the internet who may otherwise have no way to access it.

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Grandchildren and Grandparents Team up to Increase Digital Literacy in Serbia

In Belgrade, Serbia, there was an unusual event which took place for grandparents and their grandchildren. The event was organized by local NGO IAN (International Aid Network).  Teams were formed, and consisted of a grandparent who was older than 55, together with their grandchild who was younger than 13.

Teams who had previously passed the qualifications had the task to efficiently and as accurately as possible provide numerous / various answers to interesting questions in an online quiz whilst using the internet to search for necessary information.

The contestants showed that grandchildren can play an important role in bridging the digital divide which exists between generations, by teaching their grandparents about the computers as well as the internet.

The most competitive team, winners of the final round, were Darinka Despotovic and her granddaughter Marija Simeunovic, who, for their efforts, won a laptop computer. “We are thrilled to have participated in an event such as this. It means a lot to me to know how to use a computer as one can find a wide spectrum of useful and interesting information on the internet thus extending their knowledge base and broadening their horizons. Even now that I am retired, I am able to participate, while my granddaughter comes to my aid whenever it is required.”

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Innovative Website Helps Facilitate Home Learning is a K-12 learning platform produced by nonprofit, CFY, and designed to help students, teachers, and parents find and use the best digital learning activities available online, including games, simulations, and videos. Students and parents can find fun and engaging activities to reinforce classroom learning and spark new areas of interest. Teachers can create and assign playlists of activities for their students, using high-quality teacher plans created by classroom teachers from around the country.

A Digital Literacy’s Editor’s Choice Award!

Check it out by clicking on the screenshot below.

Cyber Cafe Association of India Brings Internet to the People

Editor’s Choice “Best Practice” for Digital Literacy

How does an enterprising association empower the people of an enterprising country with the power of the Internet?  The Cyber Cafe Association of India (CCAOI) brings the world class infrastructure that entrepreneurs and citizens require to the masses – and is helping to facilitate the significant economic growth that India is enjoying.  Part of the CCAOI’s success is because they work closely with the Government, Regulators, Policy Makers, and mjaor Industry Chambers.

Digital Literacy is enabler and a catalyst for change in India.  The impact of this association is significant – providing Internet access through it’s 180,000 cyber cafes and 75,000 Public Internet Access Providers.

This initiative is helping to bridge the digital divide for millions of Indians in a cost-effective manner, enabling users to access the Internet for information, communications, and entertainment.  Digital Literacy’s editors agree that CCAOI affiliated cafes have redefined the positioning for cyber cafes, essentially as service provision stores, and has awarded CCAOI as a Digital Literacy’s Editor’s Choice


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