The Internet is massively present in the lives of modern children, offering them space for creativity, learning and communication opportunities, but they are not always risk-free.
Being convinced that the mission of guiding minors in the responsible exploration of virtual space comes first of all to adults, Heritage has organized a workshop for parents in the school community, where the best experts in the country provided valuable advice on online safety and the ways you can protect your child on the Internet. They are the team of #InternetFaraGriji (‘Internet without worries) project, launched last year by the Moldcell mobile communications company, in partnership with the International Center "La Strada" and "Tekwill Academy Kids".
Inga Chiosa, Interim Director, Heritage International School: “At Heritage, we know how important information technologies are for the educational process. Because we want the learners to use them risk-free, we regularly carry out various activities meant to teach children how to have a safe online presence. More recently, we also involved the students' parents in these activities, being convinced that their care, caution and openness are crucial when it comes to exploring the virtual world without danger by the Heritage disciples.”
The #InternetFaraGriji workshop has brought together cyber security specialists, online security, personal data protection, cyberbullying, as well as psychologists who have provided effective solutions for establishing a healthy "parent-child" communication regarding the existing risks in the virtual environment.
Irina Străjescu, Communications Director, Moldcell: “Children of the 21st century do not imagine life without the Internet, as it offers them many benefits, like access to information, educational resources, books, communication with everyone through social networks and other. At the same time, just as we teach our children to cross the street only when the traffic light shows green, we must take care of their safety in the virtual world as well. We, the parents, need to know what risks exist in the online space, how to prevent them and how to protect our children on the Internet. For this purpose, in 2018, Moldcell Company, together with its partners, have launched the online safety education project #InternetFaraGriji, which is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy of Moldcell Company. #InternetFărăGriji has taken place so far throughout the country has a remarkable popularity among parents and children. We were very happy to receive the invitation to bring #InternetFărăGriji to Heritage International School as well.”
Angela Palancean, manager, www.siguronline.md: “Today most parents talk about their children spending too much time online, and that the information they are accessing is not useful to them. Often parents' fears come from the lack of knowledge of children's interests. We encourage parents to show interest in children's online activities and to discover together the positive side of the Internet, highlighting the quality of online time. It is also very important to keep in mind that restrictive methods do not work in children's education. However, friendly communication and the setting of simple and clear rules from the very first interaction of the child with the virtual world works.”
The "La Strada" psychologist, Agnesa Stratuţă, also talked about establishing a relationship based on trust between children and adults. Last but not least, Moldcell's information security expert, Serghei Uzun, listed some simple tools for parents to filter the virtual content the child has access to. These are parental control programs and the specific settings that basically all websites have.
While recognizing that they cannot always effectively monitor the quality of children’s Internet surfing, Heritage parents have shown interest in optimizing their methods of interacting with minors when it comes to online safety.
Tatiana, parent: “I have seen that practically all parents present at the seminar are confronted with the same problem - the children's increased interest in gadgets and the Internet. Being together for several hours, we exchanged useful advice, we shared our experiences with the experts, who in turn came up with concrete, easy to implement solutions.”
Irina, parent: “The information I have learned today from the specialists made me think. I realized that sometimes I had a wrong approach when trying to restrict my son's access to the Internet. We, the adults, cannot know everything, but at least now I realize in what direction I have to go to reach a healthy compromise with my child.”
While parents were all eyes and ears at the experts’ speeches, Heritage learners attended a Robotics workshop, where they learned about online safety in an interactive way - they used their creativity to the fullest to help Mailo the Robot in a risky situation on the Internet.
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