Appyness Online – New Internet Safety platform for Children
New educational platform is set to transform the teaching of internet safety in primary schools.
The Appyness Online platform is targeted at principals in primary schools, whilst end users are 9-12 year-old children and their parents. The new programme aims to reduce the negative online experiences encountered by children.
Launched by Zeeko, which is based at NovaUCD, Appyness Online allows children to teach each other internet safety. In addition, the platform empowers them on how to think as opposed to what to think, thus enabling every child to be a critical thinker.
Digital behaviour of young people
Recent research by Zeeko on the digital behaviours of young people in Ireland found:
- The percentage of children who identified themselves as being victims of cyberbullying ranged from 10% in 1st class to 18% in 6th year.
- Children who witnessed cyberbullying ranged from 20% in primary schools to 45% in 6th year.
- Starting from 5th class, the percentage of girl victims of cyberbullying increased progressively reaching the 31% in 6th year. [Children’s Online Behaviour in Irish Primary and Secondary Schools (2016-2018)]
Recognising the urgent need to educate children on online safety, Zeeko developed the Appyness Online platform, built with technology that is commonly used for developing games.
Speaking during the launch of Appyness Online, Joe Kenny, founder and CEO of Zeeko, said:
“The internet is a fantastic resource for children. However, we are concerned about the negative impact it can have on their lives.
“With our Appyness Online platform, I believe we can positively impact how internet safety education is delivered to children in primary schools in Ireland and across Europe as well as reduce the consequences of negative experiences.
Peer to Peer Influence
“Peer pressure is normally seen as a negative but Zeeko is using peer pressure as a positive. Appyness Online is a peer-to-peer education platform where young people teach each other how to safely benefit from the internet.
“This new product embraces the Irish Government’s aim to encourage more peer-to-peer learning. Moreover it encourages students to be more self-reflective and autonomous in the learning process as set out in the Action Plan for Online Safety 2018-2019.”
The Appyness Online package includes:
- a digital link to the platform
- a teacher CPD manual
- 5 lesson plans
- peer educator and table facilitator planning
- homework lessons to promote home/school communication
- pre and post implementation digital survey feedback
The 5 Appyness Online lessons focus on:
- Self Esteem
- Digital Footprint
- Screen Time
- Fake & Real
Following the successful roll-out of the platform in Ireland, Zeeko plans to introduce Appyness Online into the UK and mainland Europe markets.