SEAMEO RECSAM, Google and DQ Institute Organises “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use” ASEAN Tech Talks to Celebrate 2022 Safer Internet Day

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 |




PENANG, 10 February 2022 – In commemoration with the 2022 Global Safer Internet Day, SEAMEO RECSAM with the support of Google and DQ Institute organised ASEAN Tech Talks on “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use” on Thursday, 10 February 2022.

The webinar provided a platform for teachers and educators from the SEAMEO region to discuss the importance and challenges of digital citizenship in the classroom and how to keep our students safe through responsible and resilient digital citizenship.

The webinar also shared tips to protect users from cybersecurity threats and how teachers and educators can further develop their digital competencies in order to cultivate empowered digital citizens while ensuring a safe and positive learning environment in schools.

Teacher participants from various SEAMEO member countries were inspired with talks by the experts and speakers:  (i) Dr Masato Kajimoto from the University of Hong Kong, (ii) Lucian Teo from Google, (iii) Dr Yuhyun Park from DQ Institute, and (iv) Ryan Rahardjo from Google.

The webinar also saw His Excellency Mr Chan Chun Sing, SEAMEO Council President and Minister of Education of Singapore delivered a message of support for this initiative to cultivate a culture of digital trust and drive better digital responsibility.

Speaking to teachers and educators across the SEAMEO region, His Excellency Mr Chan Chun Sing, SEAMEO Council President highlighted two concerns when it comes to designing digital literacy programmes.

“First, how can we cultivate a culture of digital safety and responsibility in our students? While the internet has expanded access to information, it has also increased the risk of cyberbullying, fake news, and data theft. It is therefore important that students are taught to make informed choices about their participation in online activities and platforms and to recognize and protect themselves from online risks.”

“Second, how can we encourage our students to embrace technology while maintaining a balance between online and offline activities?”

His Excellency Mr Chan Chun Sing commended SEAMEO RECSAM, Google and DQ Institute for this initiative which will play a critical role in equipping teachers and educators across Southeast Asia with foundational digital skills.

Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) touched on the importance of digital skills for children since their childhood in the 21st century in order to ensure safe and effective engagement with digital technologies. With this in mind, SEAMEO has put digital citizenship at the core of its education agenda, it is in adopting the 21st century curriculum which aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, Promoting Quality Education.

Additionally, Dr Ethel also emphasised that this important practice of raising awareness of the importance of internet safety and digital citizenship in schools should be exchanged and adopted at regional and national levels in order to ensure a safe online learning environment while harnessing open and distance education benefits.

She further highlighted that this timely webinar has highlighted the importance of collaboration in promoting safe and positive online learning experiences in schools and undoubtedly bring Southeast Asia closer to enhancing regional understanding, cooperation and unity of purpose for developing digital competencies and resilience among students through the establishment of network and partnerships and providing fora for policy makers and experts to share their rich experiences and wisdoms.

Ms Tenzin Norbhu, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy of Google Southeast Asia stressed that the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption in our society and most importantly highlighted how important it is to have digital skills, be media literate and to be digitally safe. She added that internet safety is an evolving challenge and protecting user’s safety has been Google’s top priority.

She further highlighted that educating teachers and educators on online safety is crucial and Google is committed to work closely with various stakeholders including SEAMEO RECSAM to promote digital literacy and online security best practices within its community in Southeast Asia.

Dr Shah Jahan Bin Assanarkutty, Centre Director of SEAMEO RECSAM highlighted that, “It is the responsibility of teachers and educators to assist our children to justify the truthfulness and accuracy of information, develop their digital skills and protect their digital profiles so that they can use digital media effectively, responsibly and safely in this digitalization transformation world”.

In the first session, Dr Masato Kajimoto, Associate Professor of Practice Journalism and Media Studies Centre from the University of Hong Kong delivered an engaging 30-minutes sharing on the need for teachers and educators to become familiar and comfortable with techniques and skills for fact-checking teaching and the common characteristics and challenges of teaching media and information literacy in classrooms.

In the talk, Dr Masato made a compelling case to convince the teacher participants, to embark on fact-checking in their classrooms and turn students into fact-finding web detectives by guiding them how to look for credible information on the Internet.

This was followed by an interesting session by Lucian Teo, Online Safety Global Lead and Trust & Safety Transparency Lead from Google. To help teachers and educators navigate the online world safely, Lucian revealed a few tips to ensure better safety online and shared some of his top tips for developing a strong online password and how to identify and prevent phishing scams. 

Lucian advised teachers to learn how to spot suspicious emails and websites to prevent themselves from revealing critical personal information. Here are some things to look out for to help protect yourself:  (i) A sender’s email address you don’t recognise, (ii) Being asked to update or re-enter your personal or bank details and (iii) Check if the links are legitimate.

“If you got a phishing email or text message, here are the three tips to address the issue. First, don’t respond to the email. Email directly. Second, put down the call and be the one to initiate the contact,” he explained.

“And third, don’t hit the link, go directly to the website,” added Lucian.

The webinar continued with the third sharing session by Dr Yuhyun Park, Founder of DQ Institute which compiled the inaugural Child Online Safety Index. Dr Park shared about the importance of school children having a holistic digital citizenship skills, and its connection to help them learn, communicate and collaborate safely and responsibly.

Dr Park also shared that 60% of 8-12 year-old children online are exposed to cyber risks today, and 45% are affected by cyberbullying meanwhile 39% experienced reputational risks.

In an era of new digital media and technologies reshaping the world around us, it’s indispensable to equip our children with the skills to safely navigate digital media. Dr Park who coined the term Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ) described digital citizenship skills as a set of technical, cognitive, and socio-emotional abilities enabling people to face the challenges of digital life more safely and efficiently.

As a way of supporting the teachers to promote safe and positive online learning experiences in schools, Ryan Rahardjo, Head of Public Affairs of Google Southeast Asia also shared the Be Internet Awesome materials with the teachers and educators. Containing essential tips on how to be safe and stay smart in an online world, the materials consisted of downloadable curriculum, teaching slides, internet awesome tips that aims to help kids navigate the online world with confidence. The materials can be downloaded for free at: https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/educators 

“We are delighted to have gained important insights on what digital citizenship is and how schools and teachers can further develop digital competencies and resilience among students. I’m sure what the speakers have discussed will be of great value to many stakeholders,” said Ms Wong Lai Cheng, Organizing Committee of this webinar.

The webinar on “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use”, which was live streamed on SEAMEO RECSAM’s social media channel, was opened with a series presentation from the speakers highlighting the importance of  digital citizenship is and how schools and educators can further develop digital competencies and resilience among students.

The webinar was well-received with an attendance of over 3,000 teacher participants and Ministry of Education officials from the 11 SEAMEO member countries. This webinar was organised by SEAMEO RECSAM with the support from Google and DQ Institute to commemorate the 2022 Global Safer Internet Day. 

Click on the following link to view the session on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYbgpQ1-zEY

 


Photo 1: Participants of SEAMEO RECSAM, Google and DQ Institute Webinar on “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use”

 


Photo 2: Event host and organising team members as well as the guest speakers of SEAMEO RECSAM, Google and DQ Institute Webinar on “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use”

 


Photo 3: Group photo of the honourary and guest speakers of SEAMEO RECSAM, Google and DQ Institute Webinar on “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Internet Use”

 


Photo 4: Honourary remarks by His Excellency Mr Chan Chun Sing, SEAMEO Council President

 


Photo 5: Opening remarks by Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director of SEAMEO

 


Photo 6: Opening Remarks by Ms Tenzin Norbhu, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy of Google Southeast Asia

 


Photo 7: Opening Remarks by Dr Shah Jahan Bin Assanarkutty, Centre Director of SEAMEO RECSAM

 


Photo 8: To help teachers and educators navigate the online world safely, Lucian Teo from Google shared some tips on how to identify and prevent phishing scams

 


Photo 9: During the webinar, Dr Masato made a compelling case to convince the teacher participants to embark on fact-checking in their classrooms and turn students into fact-finding web detectives

 


Photo 10: Dr Park who coined the term Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ) described digital citizenship skills as a set of technical, cognitive, and socio-emotional abilities enabling people to face the challenges of digital life more safely and efficiently

 


60% of 8-12 year-old children online are exposed to cyber risks today Source: DQ Institute (2020)

 


Photo 11: As a way of supporting the teachers to promote safe and positive online learning experiences in schools, Ryan Rahardjo, Head of Public Affairs of Google Southeast Asia shared the Be Internet Awesome materials which can be accessed here: https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/educators