Dated: 17 February 2011
As a concerned parent, do you often wonder what your children are reading online, who they are interacting with and whether they may be taken advantage of? And, as a young user of the Internet, how do they protect themselves and know what they see or read online can be trusted? These and more cyber wellness questions will be addressed as part of the nationwide “Cyber Wellness Campaign” by the Media Development Authority. The campaign aims to raise awareness among parents as well as educate primary school children, ages seven to 12, on the risks and pitfalls of the Internet.
Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), was the Guest of Honour at the launch, which kick starts a series of cyber wellness activities supported by the ICSC (Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee) and 23 partners from the public, private and people sectors.
“With the Internet fast becoming an inseparable part of our lives, children as young as five years of age are going online to socialise, play games, create avatars and even trade for online game effects. Being young, children tend to be at a greater risk of online predatorial behaviour. As such, through this cyber wellness campaign, they will benefit from knowing how to better protect themselves online while learning how to be more discerning about the activities and things they read and come across on the Internet” said Mr Lui.
The campaign comprises a Cyber Wellness Roving Bus, Digital Diary Competition, a Cyber Wellness Portal –and talks and workshops which aim to reach an initial 40,000 active participants in total.
Said Ms Cassandra Tay, Director, Communications and Community &International Relations, Media Development Authority, “Whilst MDA encourages the adoption of new media, we share the community’s concerns about the need to foster cyber wellness among the young at the same time. Through the various activities we have lined up in the coming months, there will be something for children, parents as well as educators to learn and benefit from as they develop a healthy approach to safe and responsible online use.”
Cyber Wellness Roving Bus
A key campaign highlight is the mobile cyber wellness bus, which will travel to 54 primary schools, national libraries and other common popular places of interest to educate students on key cyber wellness issues. The bus, like a mobile classroom, has been fitted with seven interactive kiosks that raise awareness of seven daily issues through various interactive games and quizzes. Daily issues include cyber bullying, protection of privacy, gaming and internet use, copyright, and inappropriate content, among others. Due to overwhelming demand from the primary schools, the bus which was originally scheduled to travel to schools for 3 months has now been fully booked by the schools. The duration has now been extended to stop at most primary schools in Singapore in order to reach out to more students.
Digital Diary Competition
Primary school students are also encouraged to record their cyber experiences in e-journals, using an online eBook application, and submit them for a Digital Diary Competition. The competition hopes to stimulate peer-group learning through the sharing of real-live stories and adventures encountered by children. Entries can be submitted online and voted on by peers, as well as members of the public, who will collectively decide on the Top 25 winning stories. A panel of judges will then decide the winning entries. Students may log on to the Cyber Wellness Portal (www.cyberwellness.org.sg) for further details. The competition closes on 27 May 2011 Prizes include an Apple iPad, Android eReaders as well as Brands hampers.
Cyber Wellness Portal
For busy parents and educators, a Cyber Wellness Portal (www.cyberwellness.org.sg) has been set up to provide practical tips and resources to help them better manage gaming, cyber bullying and other issues faced by children. Parents and educators can also exchange personal experiences, insights and lessons for mutual learning. Taking the engagement process a step further, cyber wellness experts and moderators will also be online during forum discussion to online consumption habits.
Please see the following Annexes for more details on the campaign:
About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the development of vibrant and competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries in Singapore. It has developed an industry masterplan, Singapore Media Fusion 2015 (www.smf.sg) to advance this goal. MDA also promotes a connected society, consumer choice and a pro-business environment.