In 2019, INNOTECH conducted the “Knowledge Forum on the Cybersafety of Filipino Learners” which was participated and attended by teachers, school administrators, head teachers, government officers, and members of the civil society. The forum discussed the initiatives of the Department of Education in mitigating online risks for learners. It dug deeper on these online risks through the presentation of Stairway Foundation, Inc. about its research on Cybersafety. The National Privacy Commission also tackled the importance of data privacy, and how it helps in fostering cybersafety.
Ideas on how to build a cybersafe environment were gathered from the participants through a workshop activity that culminated the one-day forum. From campaigns to full-blown school programs, the participants shared how they can build and strengthen the cybersafety of the learners. Through the forum, participants also saw the need of involving the learners in the conversation on cybersafety since they are the ones directly affected or involved in the process.
The youth are considered digital natives—they were born, and they grew up with the presence of digital technologies and the internet. According to a research1 in 2017, more than 80% of the youth population (15-24 years old) worldwide are online. A more recent survey2 also reported that people aged 16 to 64 around the world spend an average of 6 hours on internet per day. As the use of digital technologies and the internet becomes more prominent as the years go by, it is important for people to also increase their knowledge and understanding of cybersafety and digital citizenship.
Moreover, the pandemic has posed a “new normal” for everyone—more people are online, more transactions are being done online, schools shifting to online classes and other alternative modes of education, social distancing, and more. The sudden shift to going more digital has its pros and cons in people’s daily life. And the need to discuss how people, especially the youth, use and act on the digital platforms is more prominent now more than ever.
The webinar will give emphasis on the importance of cybersafety and digital citizenship given the current pandemic situation, especially in the school setting. It will tackle the basics of what digital citizenship is and how schools can further protect and guide their learners as they spend more time online.
The webinar also hopes to establish a platform for the participants to continue the discussion and further share knowledge even after the webinar. Hopefully, the participants, especially the youth, will become advocates of digital citizenship.