UNICEF launches digital literacy campaign - 'New generation with critical thinking'
Cyber Survivor is a digital compass that will help children and young people surf safely and develop their potential
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed the ways in which we study, work, play, communicate and have fun, and has turned online settings into ‘the new normal’. This transition has admittedly been smoother for children and young people born during the digital age. Nevertheless, despite all the extraordinary opportunities it presents, the Internet also exposes adolescents to new risks for which they are often not prepared. Below, you can find data from research on digital skills, behaviours and attitudes and assessments offered by the young people themselves:
• A mere 57% of young people (aged between 16 and 19) state that they have basic or higher digital skills, a figure substantially below the EU average of 82%. (Eurostat 2019)
More than 1 in 7 children under the age of 18 report having suffered violence online, especially on social media. (UNICEF survey)
• 57% of teenagers state that they take an active stance and warn their friends in case they come across fake news.
• Most young people are active on social media: 77% use them daily; 89% own a personal smart device, but show a lower rate of engagement in online activities.
To improve the digital skills of children and young people and to help them build critical thinking in the online space so that they can:
1. Protect themselves from violence online and respond to online harassment;
2. Protect themselves from cyber attacks and crimes;
3. Recognize fake news and facts and report them;
4. Develop critical thinking and make informed decisions about their behavior online;
5. Create their own content without exposing themselves to danger;
6. Prevent unethical involvement and proliferation of incidents.
How will we achieve it?
With the help of Cyber Survivor - a digital literacy application that will help children and young people navigate the Internet safely. Cyber Survivor will be the digital compass of the new generation in cyberspace. The app will be an interactive learning platform that will allow teens to acquire and develop digital skills and experience while playing.
Types of trainings included in Cyber Survivor:
- Interactive quizzes and tests designed to bring practical knowledge;
- Real-life cases and scenarios;
- Videos, animation stories;
- Tasks to complete, using tools like a smartphone or a browser;
- Training projects and tasks to complete with peers
The Digital Literacy Initiative "New Generation with Critical Thinking" is supported by: The National Center for Safe Internet, The Coalition for Media Literacy, The Association of European Journalists, Teen Station, Resonator, and Vivacom.
How was the idea born?
In 2020, UNICEF organized an unprecedented Hackathon offering young people the opportunity to put forward their own media literacy and online safety solutions.
The problems children and young people encounter nowadays are largely online and thus require online solutions. UNICEF listens to the voices of teenagers in Bulgaria and has joined hands with some of its partners, aiming to implement children and young people’s own vision of online safety and developing one’s potential online. We abide by the principle
Nothing About Us Without Us
In light of this, we encourage you to have a look at the ideas of young people themselves on how they can grow to be a generation of critical thinkers by buildings skills and assisting both their peers and society at large to mitigate online risks, while fostering development opportunities.