The “Navigare Sicuri” 2012 tour - part of the Telecom Italia’s initiative that seeks to raise awareness amongst children, students, teachers and parents towards a more careful use of the Internet - ended today in Trento .
The initiative had been developed with the collaboration of the Ministery of Education, University and Research and also relied upon the competences of well established organizations such as “Fondazione Movimento Bambino” and “Save the Children”. Its main aim was to promote the potential of new digital technologies as a resource for learning, socializing and growing up while at the same time avoiding its hidden dangers.
The following people participated to the tour’s closing event held in the “Sala Belli” of the Autonomous Region of Trento: Massimiliano Tarantino, head of Telecom Italia’s Institutional Projects and Initiatives, Marta Dalmaso Councillor for Education and Sport of the Trento province, Professor Maria Rita Parsi, President of “Fondazione Movimento Bambino” and Mauro Cristoforetti, Head of “Formazione dell’Unità Minori” and New Media for “Save the Children”.
During the event the results of the tour were presented: during the (2010-2012) 2-year period the Navigare Sicuri bus - containing 5 multimedia stations and an interactive whiteboard - covered more than 15,000 km in Italy and visited 40 cities in 20 regions involving over 100,000 young individuals.
The project has been followed on the Internet by a Facebook community of over 40,000 fans.
The results of a research conducted on 105 schools, according to which the luring of minors (44%) and cyberbullying (37%) are the biggest perceived threats by both young individuals and their teachers, were also commented during the event. The predominant and shared opinion was that the school should be the main determinant not only in guiding young individuals but also in informing parents of the potentialities connected to a correct use of the Web.
However 56% of the teachers interviewed said that the schools they worked for used Internet for educational purposes no more than once a week.
Mario Cristoforetti, Save The Children, said that to know about the risks of online luring and cyberbullying is important, but not sufficient because young individuals must learn to manage these risks. For this reason it is fundamental that teachers are able to help them achieve the competences necessary to do so and hence to face the digital world in complete safety. For this to occur the guidelines for school curricula have to be updated by integrating within them Information and Communication technology.
From the aforementioned research it was found that the Navigare Sicuri tour had helped raise the awareness of the younger generation towards Internet Safety: 73% said they were more aware of the risks connected to the Web after having taken part in the tour’s laboratory sessions.
It is however worrying that 37% said they still didn’t feel they knew enough about the risks associated to Internet.
Those interviewed agreed that there is a need to increase educational support provided by experts rather than avoid direct contact with the risks involved through devices such as parental blocks and filters.
According to Professor Maria Rita Parsi, it is necessary to provide teachers with digital technology training in order to protect and guide the younger generation’s use of new technology. She stated that parental control is not sufficient: it is necessary to educate teachers so that the new generations are brought up in a technology era based on the ethics of respect.
Massimo Tarantino said that making the Internet and new technologies widely available is one of Telecom Italia’s main objectives, but in doing so they can’t forget the younger generation that doesn’t always possess the necessary knowledge and capability to use the Internet without encountering the associated dangers. Navigare Sicuri has been an effective tool towards the creation of a new generation of well-informed web surfers.
As a conclusion for the research two video guides have been developed and are available to view at www.navigaresicuri.org, these are dedicated to children and youths and allow them to virtually attend the training labs used during the Navigare Sicuri tour.
Trento, 8th June 2012