Innovation

National governments, leading ICT companies and NGOs back new global movement

Team ScooNews
National governments, leading ICT companies and NGOs back new global movement

Children will be able to measure their ability and command of digital media – helping to combat their exposure to dangers such as radicalization, fake news, online grooming and cyber-bullying – with a new online platform launched today at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai.

Youngsters will be able to score themselves against a range of criteria with an online assessment. The online platform is part of #DQEveryChild™, a new global alliance which aims to increase young people’s digital intelligence quotient (DQ) to help children safely navigate digital technology.

DQ is the ability to use digital technology and media in safe, responsible and effective ways.  In the same way as IQ and EQ measure general and emotional intelligence, DQ measures a person’s ability and command of digital media.

Statistics show that at 9 years old, over half (52 per cent) of children already have their own mobile device – either a tablet, PC or phone. By age 12, this increases to 70 per cent.  

Focusing on DQ has been identified as an impactful and effective method for improving digital citizenship by the World Economic Forum. The alliance includes national governments, world-leading NGOs and ICT companies who are committed to digital citizenship and digital literacy.  

More than a dozen countries are already pledging their support for the movement in 2017, including Argentina, India, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and the US.  Other members include the World Economic Forum, Singtel, the Varkey Foundation, Google, and LG U+.

#DQEveryChild™ aims to reach 20 million children aged 8-12 years by 2020.

In association with the DQ Institute, the World Economic Forum will explore the integration of a Global DQ Index – measuring the average DQ™ across participating countries – within one of its main annual reports.

#DQEveryChild™ is a combination of online education tools and real-time assessment which is free to every child globally, and can be easily ‘plugged and played’ into any national or school curriculum via the DQWorld.net platform.  

The curriculum of 20 lessons over 15 hours is delivered through story-telling and gamified design, which makes learning interactive and fun and encourages a positive attitudinal shift and behaviour.  At the end of each lesson, children take an online real-time assessment that will provide DQ scores for each of the skills acquired.

Children are ‘scored’ against a range of criteria – such as sharing personal data; meeting online strangers; online sexual behaviours; exposure to violent content; cyberbullying and game addiction – with the average DQ score for each set at 100.  

For example, with an average score of 100 against the criteria of sharing personal data, the risk of a child sharing personal data is a 17 per cent risk.  However, increasing their DQ score to 110 reduces that risk to 12 per cent, raising their score to 120 reduces it to 8 per cent, and increasing it to 130 reduces it to 6 per cent (see graph below).

A pilot programme was undertaken last year in Singapore involving more than 2,200 children aged 9-12 years old, to understand the efficacy and impact of the online program in enhancing the children’s DQ skills and in changing their attitudes and behaviour against cyber risks.

The study showed that the programme improved children’s DQ score, on average, by 14 per cent. minimising the impact of risky behaviours online and maximising their personal strengths.

Dr Yuhyun Park, founder of the #DQEveryChild™ movement, said:

“In the hyper-connected world we live in, children as young as 8 years old critically need DQ to be smart and responsible users of technology.

These children are the first generation born and raised in a digital world, and they need to learn digital skills for the future.  But they are often exposed to various cyber dangers, such as cyber-bullying, fake news, online grooming and radicalization, and are left alone to navigate the negative side effects of technology.

“Children need help to navigate this landscape safely. Just like we need a driving license before we can drive on the roads, children need digital education before they start using digital media and technology.”

Claudio Cocorocchia, Head of Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment, World Economic Forum, said:

Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment is one of the Forum’s newest initiatives that champions the concept of an Informed Society, which includes improved resources and skills for citizens to access and participate in the free flow of reliable and pertinent information and content. Our premise is that an informed society can make more considered decisions about economic, social and political lives.

“As such, we are delighted to be working with the DQ Institute and supporting their objective of increased global impact. Our recent research has shown that the world needs higher levels of digital intelligence, which would benefit both the private and public sector, but more importantly society as a whole. We will be assisting the DQ Institute by providing access to our regional and annual meetings, our network of experts and multi-stakeholder community members, and our digital platform.”

Mr Andrew Buay, Singtel Vice President of Group Corporate Social Responsibility, said:

“Technology helps to connect people but it also exposes them to online perils such as inappropriate content, gaming addiction and cyber bullying. This is becoming more prevalent with young children, hence, it is important to educate them early.

“Singtel believes in the education and promotion of responsible digital citizenship. We have been involved with the development and implementation of #DQEveryChild as we believe it’s a valuable way to educate our young people so that they have the social, emotional and cognitive abilities to handle the demands and challenges in the digital space.”

Vikas Pota, Chief Executive of the Varkey Foundation, said:  

 “With the theme of this year’s GESF being global citizenship, it’s fitting that the launch of #DQEveryChild is taking place at the forum.  Not only does increasing a child’s DQ score reduce the risks associated with digital technology, but it also maximizes personal strengths such as higher empathy and global citizenship, and raises their academic performance and future opportunity.”

With Inputs from DQInstitute, Singapore

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