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Danish youngsters teach The Minister for Education about internet and ICT in school September 1, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Internet Safety, School, Youngsters.
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The Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has set up a youth panel called “Medierødderne” consisting of a group of children and young people between the age of 10 and 15. During the summer they have been working on compiling a list of ideas and guidelines for better ICT and internet usage in school. In June they presented their ideas for the Danish Minister of Education.

I have picked out a couple of their recommendations (translated from Danish):

1. Let students teach each other about the internet, and have children share their good and bad experiences with each other, their parents and teachers.

2. All teachers must attend a course in internet and computer skills, and they should include the internet in their teaching more often.

5. If a school creates filters on their computers, the students should be informed why.

9. Schools should set up a rule that prevents teachers from ‘friending’ students on Facebook – and vice versa.

See the complete list of recommendations here.

The panel is one out of many European youth panels within the Insafe network.

New online forum for parents of online children January 30, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Parents.

The National Consumer Agency of Denmark has just launched an online debate forum for “parents of online children” (called “Forældre til Onlinebørn” in Danish).

I think this is a really interesting initiative and a potential empirical goldmine for me.

On the site, parents are debating how to approach various issues regarding their children’s internet use – both in relation to social network sites, online gaming, gambling and virtual worlds.

You can have a look at the site here. I will definitely keep an eye on the forum.

New debate book: The Open Diary November 12, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Internet Safety, Privacy, Youngsters.

bookAbout a year ago I gave an interview about Danish youngsters’ activities on Arto for a debate book dealing with online social networking and young people’s online behaviour. The book is out now with the title “The Open Diary” (in Danish “Den Åbne Dagbog”). It is written by two journalists (Lonni Park Lynge and Rene Pedersen) and is meant as a debate book to be used in school and at home. It encompasses a number of case stories with young people and interviews with experts.

The book addresses different issues of privacy online and the goal is to facilitate a debate about what is cool and what is not cool to put online.

Read more about the book here (in Danish).

Swedish kids upset over parents’ internet use June 25, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Parents.
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I just read an interesting article about how Swedish children are upset over their parents’ use of the internet – in particular, if the parents are visiting pornographic web pages. It is the recent report from the Swedish organisation BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society) that documents the worries that children have when it comes to their parents’ online habits.

Besides the pornographic webpages the children are also worried that their parents gamble or shop too much online. Also, it seems that many children find that their parents spend too much time in front of the computer screen.

I find it interesting that we often talk about how parents should keep an eye on their childrens’ internet habits, when – apparently – it also goes the other way around 🙂

Read the Swedish report from BRIS (which also entails other interesting points) here.

New survey on young people, sex and the internet February 7, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Sex, Youth.

A new Danish survey dealing with young people’s use of the internet to purchase or sell sex shows that every tenth of the participants in the survey has received payment.

2367 Danish young people between the age of 14 and 24 have participated in the survey.

  • 79,8 % of them have never given or received any payment for sex – and don’t know anyone who has.
  • 9,8 % of them know someone who has either given or received payment for sex.
  • 9,1 % of them have received some kind of payment for sex.
  • 1,3% of them have given some kind of payment for sex.

The study is conducted by Cyberhus, a Danish online community for children and young people run by social workers, for Aarhus City Council. Read more about the study here and read the whole report here (only in Danish).

It is important to know that one cannot simply conclude that one out of every tenth youngster in Denmark has received payment for sex. As project coordinator, Jonas Ravn, says in a newsletter from Cyberhus:

Man kan ikke ud fra undersøgelsen konkludere, at hver 10. unge i Danmark har solgt sex. Men 9,1 procent af de unge, der har valgt at deltage i vores undersøgelse, har fået betaling for at levere seksuelle ydelser. Men egentlig er det ikke undersøgelsens primære mål at undersøge omfanget, men at se på, om og hvordan de unge bruger nettet til at lave aftaler om sex.

Also, the definition of payment includes not only money, also but material things such as alcohol, cigarettes and clothes.

Furthermore, the study shows that the sale and payment of sex often take place between friends and acquaintances. And most often as a sudden impulse.

Girls spend more time online than boys November 9, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Online.

Danish girls between the age of 10 and 14 years old are considered to be “heavy users” when it comes to time consumption on the internet. New figures from The Association of Danish Internet Media (FDIM) show that girls within this age group spend in average 11 hours a month on Danish sites (which are part of the official measurement of internet traffic) whereas boys between 10 and 14 years old “only” spend in average seven hours.

Among the most popular sites for both sexes are Arto, MSN and DR (meaning that those are the sites with the biggest “reach” within the target group of 10-14-year-old’s).

The 10-14 year old girls are most heavily represented on:

  1. Vi Unge
  2. GoSupermodel
  3. Arto

whereas the 10-14 year old boys are most heavily represented on:

  1. Vix
  2. Arto
  3. The Voice

compared to their representation on the internet in general.

The figures also show that the average female Arto user between 10-14 spend slightly more that 13 hours a month on the site, whereas the average male user between 10-14 spend a little under 10 hours a month on Arto.

Read the article from FDIM here and see the figures and measurements here.

(NOTE: These figures are solely based on internet traffic in July 2007, they only measure traffic on Danish sites (and not the international ones that Danish children are using) and only traffic on the sites which are members of FDIM).

New European survey on children and online safety August 16, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Internet Safety, New media.
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How do children across Europe deal with online risks? The new Eurobarometer survey from the EU Commission has interviewed children of 9-10 and 12-14 from 29 European countries about their use of new media and online technologies. I find it assuring that the survey shows that children generally are aware of potential risks and the precautions they need to take online :

The results show that children are globally well aware of the potential online risks, such as security, viruses, access to unwanted content, identity theft and potential dangerous contact with strangers.

Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – the survey also shows that European children are reluctant to tell parents about the troubles they face online:

Even though young people know about of the risks and precautions, most would rather try to solve the problem themselves or with friends, and would talk to their parents only as a last resort in the most serious cases.

Read more here or download the overall report.

Break up online April 13, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Online, Relationship, Youth Culture.

A new Danish website, “Speak4You.dk“, offers teenagers to help them break up with their boyfriends or girlfriends. The youngsters “only” have to pay 125 Danish kroner in order to have the website send out a letter with the gloomy message. In an article in Politiken the creator explains that many young people have a hard time saying things as the are and using the website would be a better alternative to break up with someone through a sms message.

The website also offers to send out letters with apologies, secrets or love letters, but the creator predicts that the “break-up-service” will be the most popular… With 125 DKR a letter, I doubt it.

Read the article (in Danish) here.