Empowerment through education – WS 08 2016

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10 June 2016 | 11:30-13:00
Programme overview 2016

Session teaser

Media literacy as a tool for empowerment in order to ensure safe and responsible usage of digital media by young people and adults in the information society.

Session description

The internet and new media are an inherent part of our daily lives. This applies to adults as well as to children and adolescents that are growing up with new technologies and its possibilities. Particularly young people are attracted to new media in a special way and cannot imagine living without it. In their development children and adolescents face a number of development tasks such as searching for the own identity, managing relationships or finding a role within the peer group. Especially the Internet and its wide range of services offer a variety of options that meet the needs of young people and help them dealing with the development tasks they face. Therefor it’s necessary to support young people in promoting media literacy and adequate handling of the internet and new media because the internet not only offers plenty of positive options but also various problematic areas and dangers. Young people should be aware of possible risks and should be equipped with adequate knowledge and coping strategies. Thus everybody who is in charge of children and adolescents (e.g. parents, schools, youth work and politics) should have the ability raising young people’s awareness concerning the significance of responsible and competent handling of the internet. This workshop aims at discussing the various ways of empowering youth as well as empowering those who are accompanying young people on their way to responsible digital grown-ups.

The workshops discussion is oriented towards the following topics:

  • Curricula for Media Literacy education as the basis for empowerment
  • Possible barriers, difficulties and limits associated with parental empowerment
  • Gender differences and roles in media literacy education
  • Technical age barriers for children
  • The regulation of digital content for children: how far are we willing to allow censorship?


empowerment, education, protection, media literacy, safe internet environment, risks, young people, children, support, responsibility


Round table. Dialogue with the audience on different subtopics, presented very briefly by key participants.

Further Reading


  • Focal Point: Claudia Stelter
  • Key participants
  • Maria Jose Velasquez, New media summer school fellow
  • Narine Khachatryan, Media Education Center Armenia + Safer Internet Armenia
  • Belma Kucukalic, One World Platform, Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Auke Pals, student, entrepreneur from The Netherlands
  • John Carr (eNACSO - European NGO Alliance of Child Safety Online)
Co-moderator: Ani Dallakyan
  • Remote moderator: Michael J. Oghia,Istanbul, Turkey, Journalist & editor, 2015 ISOC IGF Ambassador
  • Org team
  • Narine Khachatryan, Media Education Center Armenia + Safer Internet Armenia
  • Desara Dushi, University of Bologna and University of Turin, Italy
  • Paloma Cantero, iCmedia, Spain
  • Marta Pellico, iCmedia, Spain
  • Jutta Croll, I-KiZ (Center for online child safety), Germany
  • Olivier Crepin-Leblond (Subject Matter Expert)
  • Valentina Pellizzer, One World Platform, Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Auke Pals, student, entrepreneur from The Netherlands
  • Belma Kucukalic, One World Platform, Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Anna Iosif, Cyprus, accounting and finance student in Glasgow
  • Ani Dallakyan, New media summer school fellow
  • Yuliya Morenets, TaC International
  • Maria Jose Velasquez, New media summer school fellow
  • Reporter: Claudia Stelter

Current discussion

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page.

Conference call. Schedules and minutes

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange
  • be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you
  • use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize and publish the discussion process

Mailing list

Contact: ws8@eurodig.org


  • Empowerment through education should be built on Media and Information Literacy Curricula based on an intercultural and intergenerational approach. The curricula need to be standardized and cover evaluation of the learning achievements in building their digital literacy.
  • Empowerment does not equal protection. Media literacy education should cover formal and non-formal learning settings (e.g. libraries) and address first of all critical thinking and critical evaluation of content. Education on human rights and democratic citizenship is strongly interrelated with media literacy education. Curricula should integrate the respective aspects.
  • Gender is not a female issue but one of society at large. It is of primary importance to overcome gender stereotypes in media literacy education and address the needs of alle types of gender appropriately.
  • Although the content of Media Literacy Curricula is as debatable as are age limits for the usage of interconnected media like they are set in the GDPR now, there is a broad consensus on the concept of empowerment through education.
  • Ensuring equal access to education and equal opportunities should be a priority to Internet Governance - vice versa a bottom-up multistakeholder process should provide for participation of all in Internet Governance issues.

Video record

See the video record in our youtube channel


Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-481-9835, www.captionfirst.com

This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

>> MODERATOR: Okay then, let’s start. Good morning, everybody! I’m very glad to see that so many people have shown up for the workshop Empowerment Through Education. My name is Jutta Croll. I’m the managing Director of the Center for Child Protection on the Internet. I’m going to moderate the session. Firstly, I would like to introduce you to the format that we would like to use for the session. It’s called a speaker’s corner break in session, and I have been considering a little bit about the speaker’s corner. Some of you know that this is a term that was named in the Hyde Park of London which in my youth it was important to know that the place was there and at my first visit to London I went to see how it happened. It’s a small state or a stand where people just go there, stand up, and speak out of their opinion what they are standing for.

And nowadays with the Internet

>> Including lunatics.

>> MODERATOR: Nowadays with the Internet everybody has their speaker’s corner at hand. You can speak to everybody, everywhere, and that’s also kind of a topic we are talking about today. How are you going to be empowered to do that? How are you going to understand what could be the consequences of what you are doing there at the speaker’s corner.

So for the session, we will have five key persons who are going to take the speaker’s corner, give their around five minute statement. The shorter you are, better brief, the better because then after each of the key persons, we will have about ten minutes to discuss what they have said, and I would like all of you in the room to use this opportunity to break in, to give controversy statements maybe to what has been said so that we can have a good, an interactive discussion engaging all of you. I will try to keep strongly to the schedule so that every speaker gets their start and that we have the ten minutes of discussion more or less in between, and after the discussion, we will try to have a main message to take out of that so that at the end of the whole session, we will have some messages that can be transported to the broader audience and to the plenary and into the reports.

So I think I will just go through the key persons, introduce you to the key persons and then we will start the presentations. To my left you see Maria Jose Velasquez. She is from Bolivia, a digital sociologist and studying at the University of Guthenberg. She is a fellow of the New Media Summer School that has taken place here in Brussels as well, and we had a little chat yesterday about the term New Media, because is it really New Media when we are talking the Internet as it has been there for such a long time, but still some people see differences between the New Media and the old media, and that’s also about freedom of expression and about safety when it comes to the Internet.

Then to my right is Narina Khachatryan, I hope I did quite well. She comes from Armenia and is their working at the Media Education Center and also running the Safer Internet Centre for Armenia. To my left it’s Belma Kucukalic from the One World Platform, and she will be going to speak about gender differences and roles in media literacy education. Then I think the youngest and the only the youngest in our, among our key speakers is Auke Pals, who comes from the Netherlands. And there he is studying information science at the University of Amsterdam. And he has told me also and he is giving advice to companies on invasion so you will explain that maybe a little bit more by yourself afterward. And then we also have John Carr who is I’m not sure, the oldest male, maybe. John Carr is representing eNACSO and well known in questions of safety and children’s rights working together with the British Government but with many national and transnational organisations.

All of the people around the table are key persons as well and I hope to engage you in the debate in the course of the next 90 minutes. So then Maria Jose Velasquez, it’s up to you to tell us a little bit about curricular for media literacy education.

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: So hello. I am Maria Jose Velasquez. I am living in Sweden, and the panelists and I, we agree that we should make an overview of what the media and information literacy curricula is offering nowadays, and to understand a bit the core characteristics of this. I have passed the last 72 hours as part of the New Media Summer School where people from all around Europe talk and discuss about what is important for us about Internet Governance issues, and we define, we concluded that it’s very much needed digital media literacy for us to be able to participate fully not only in this kind of event but also in like society.

So with this little mention, in this presentation I am referring to the curricula in media literacy because the plurality of this is not only one and how it can be included also in the formal education system. First of all, to have in mind the media information literacy needs to function as an intercultural dialogue and also as an intergenerational dialogue, which means on the one hand that it’s important to take into account that different people interpret messages differently across and within the national borders in the exchange of practices can contribute to a better understanding and to the production of knowledge also.

And on the other hand, even though strategies and perspectives are across generation, young people and chirp are key actors in the understanding of new technologies and are not as many times we stereo type or stigmatize them as passive user of the technology. I don’t want to say new technologies, but passive users of technologies or they are lacking aptitude when using this.

So with this we give a new twist to the traditional, a new shift to the traditional media and information literacy curricula that is addressing such, areas such as access and knowledge, critical evaluation and production of media. We include to this the intercultural dialogue and the intergenerational dialogue that is important to produce new knowledge. In second place, media and information literacy needs to be taken as a discipline in the education system not only as subject but something more like sustainable education we can say that is relevant to all of the spheres in life. It’s like to have, it’s not only including a curricula of media and information literacy in the formal academic education, but it is about to acquire media and literacy education to bring solutions to challenges in our daily life. Not only in the classroom, but transcend the classroom, know how to decipher media messages.

Let’s take as an example to others digital literacy for fighting against hate speech, which is one of the biggest challenges of youth and children navigated on the Internet nowadays. With the curricula including knowledge that addresses not only technical skills, as we said, but knowledge of citizenship, freedom of expression, cybersecurity and so on. With this curricula it includes understanding, creation, critical evaluational media can work as a tool for young people to recognize hate speech since the very beginning to critically reflect on media messages, to find information, to check sources, to know how to tackle this issue.

So and to check who is producing also this information that is important to identify hate speech, for example. And with this understanding of the rules of a website of different systems in the Internet, this media and information literacy competence addresses in a curricula can empower youth and children and provide them the ability to always be active in participating in the Internet and fluent and know how to navigate in this Internet.

So to understand this, we need to add wrapping up, I don’t know how much time I have but for wrapping up, what is needed in the New Media, in the media and information literacy curricula is intercultural and intergenerational approach to shape this curricula and also a lifelong learning that goes beyond the classroom, that starts in that transcends the classroom.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Maria. That was very good using your five minutes and a very good wrap up. Anybody around the room has a question or a statement to make to the media and information literacy curricula? Yes, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Yes, I would like to understand a little more. You talk about intergenerational, intercultural, but that doesn’t tell me precisely how you teach this and what you include. Is this social literacy? Can you explain a little, please?

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: Well, there is new approaches that are included in this intercultural dialogue, which is to have information of different sources, to learn from a global landscape that we are now, it’s like to have multistakeholderism but in a multicultural way. We learn from each other. We produce knowledge, and this focuses mostly in exchange best practices among countries, among places. And through this to have more tangible results about media and information literacy, which is sometimes a very abstract concept.

>> AUDIENCE: How do you measure it? How do you measure the level of achievement of people?

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: What do you mean?

>> Benchmarks.

>> Evaluations.

>> AUDIENCE: Yes, the evaluation. How much literacy people have achieved. Are there any instruments to measure that?

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: For example, the media and information literacy development indicators that measure this kind of approach. You can measure with research and so on how, to what extent is expressed the freedom of expression, to what extent, it has a kind of indicator through which you can see before and after introduction of media literacy in the curricula, formal and informal.

>> AUDIENCE: I’m Nick Cola from Serbia and a student of adult education. I think it’s very important to define the digital literacy, what is the content, because the content is developed and development influence on the country because first we have, it was enough just to know how to turn on the computer and connect the Internet and do a search of some, and use Skype, but now I think it’s much more than this. If you want to use open source software, you need to know a little bit about coding, and also you need to understand the policies, the companies offer us just to tick the box. I agree with terms and conditions.

They don’t ask another box I accept terms and conditions without reading and I accept the consequences. That means that we need really to understand what is inside and for that we need much more than just the basic digital literacy. And it’s really the question how developed those curriculums, and I think that as in Brazil, Paolo started, they started some kind of emancipation, digital emancipation through non formal education. And it needs to be on line and off line.

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: Yes. So how we see the media and information literacy curriculum is not only about to access or to have access to technological devices, to know how to use them, to navigate in the Internet landscape, but also it’s a mixture of skills, attitude and knowledge that you can use in order to identify to critically through the media and so on. And about you think the coding is a very important thing also sometimes, there is now the debate of it should be included or not to the media literacy curricula. So it’s good that you address this.

>> AUDIENCE: Are there developed any kind of curricula at the moment at the global level or some regional level or?

>> MARIA JOSE VELASQUEZ: This is still debatable. This is still being on the table as many approaches of media and information literacy that are not included.

>> AUDIENCE: We have global curriculum for trainers of train the trainer.

>> MODERATOR: We have another comment there.

>> AUDIENCE: In answer to your question, there is Estonia has started including coding in their curricula. What I wanted to stress is my name is Anna. Maybe that’s better. I was singing too much last night. My name is Anna and I represent the European students Forum. And besides this, I work with media on a regular basis. I found media literacy is like a kiosk for improvement in education of young people.

But I work regularly and with the field and with non formal education, youth empowerment, active participation and so on, and we found out that it’s not only media literacy that is needed to achieve such empowerment, but it’s going one step beyond, this whole civic education in our education, an education that includes citizenship with the mental rights which can include our rights on line, media literacy, critical thinking, intercultural dialogue, so on.

This is actually a way that we can shape active citizens and that we can indeed gain such empowerment. I really do not mean to be a spammer and to make some self-promotion, but our organisation will be launching European initiative in October to include civic education in the school curricula in Europe, and also in this sense I wanted to stress the role of youth organisations that has been mentioned has indeed providing such structures and such type of education on a smaller kale.

We were talking about how do we measure this intergenerational dialogue and intercultural dialogue, this is not something that can be measured in a wider scale, but in youth organisations we put strong emphasis on impact measurement. So in all of the training we organize in all of the events and lifelong learning we always try to consult our members and try to check let’s see which has been the progress in this particular skills. So that is indeed an option.

I would also like to know maybe from other key speakers and so on what do you think that roles of youth NGOs and youth organisations can have in such empowerment? Thank you.

>> I think I can follow up and partly answer some of the questions you put forward which is relevant. Maybe to explain, eye work for the Council of Europe on the youth campaign against hate speech on line. Part of the campaign has been to promote and strengthen Human Rights education as a tool to address hate speech on line. I agree when we deal with hate speech but also media literacy, it needs to be in the wider context of Human Rights understanding, strengthening intercultural dialogue skills because the Internet opens up possibility to dialogue and to be in touch with the rest of the world so we have to have the skills to deal with cultural differences and things like that.

And in that sense, what I wanted to add to this discussion was that the Council of Europe has a charter on education and Human Rights education which is part of the educational department and youth department of the Council of Europe. It has a very clear interest indicators what should be done. How these issues of Human Rights education should be integrated in school curricula and in youth work. Now, on here the challenges I think for NGOs and teacher Unions and stuff like that to be active because I think ministries are too easy to say, okay, Democratic citizenship is about knowing how to vote, but it’s much more. It’s also about the values and the competencies. I think this is through non formal education, it’s very strong and we have book marks which is a menu on this topic but we have a compass which is Human Rights menu. In addition and this is important for you to know on your citizenship initiative the Council of Europe is developing competence framework for Democratic citizenship, which is going to be a tool to actually measure through indicators how Democratic citizenship is developed by young people or within education.

So this should be a tool for teachers, youth workers alike to actually measure what competencies do we need and how do I measure this, because there is a lot of educational programs out there, but we are wondering if it actually reaches the standards we are looking for which is very comprehensive skills and attitudes. I can talk about that more later.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for being brief because we have consumed the ten minutes of discussion or this point and I’m pretty sure that all of the others around the table will have the opportunity to step in at a later point. I try to phrase one main message that we can take out of this first round of discussion, and I think that the main thing that was said was the intercultural thing on the one hand that was also debated, but then also that the media and information literacy education should be integrated into the other efforts like education for democratic citizenship, educational knowledge on Human Rights. So it will be part of that education because it’s interrelated.

We cannot see media information literacy as something completely different that is part of a different type of education because just when it comes, for example, to hate speech, we are not talking about a thing that happens only on line. It has become more focused on line, but because it’s more widespread, but in the end, we are talking about relationship between each other and about Human Rights and Democratic citizenship. So if there is no counter speech about, against that, I would think that one main message is that it should be integrated. So Narina Khachatryan, it’s up to you. Narina Khachatryan will be talking about possible barriers, difficulties and limits associated with the role of parents in media education literacy media literacy education.

>> NARINA KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, I’m speaking on behalf of non governmental organisation. We want to see the edition of information Armenia program we support different stakeholder groups, public bodies, Civil Society. We have been organising training and awareness activities for children, parents, teachers, social workers engaging nearly 70% of Armenian secondary schools and we have great international partnerships.

I would like to mention that we have had very good partnership with the In Safe Network and now with Better Internet for Kids and eNACSO and we haven’t stopped looking for new ways of empowering children and adults. Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask everyone and invite everyone to think what do you think how best to support parents and teachers in helping children to develop on one hand healthy habits of ICT use, and on the other hand, the critical reflection of media.

Since technologies are evolving quickly and children are being immersed into digital environments the purpose should be two fold, to teach proper skills to take advantage of new technologies, and simultaneously to teach how to handle the influence of the ICTs, and as our practical experience has demonstrated, there is a big gap between children technical level of expertise in their social skills. When we say children are more knowledgeable in ICT matters than their parents.

Actually we speak about their technical expertise. Young people may acquire very good technical skills to work with ICTs, but usually their social development, their social skills, their emotional development lags behind, and this we consider the biggest problem and particularly in our country. On the other hand, children’s development, emotions and attitudes are greatly shaped by what they watch and hear on the Internet, in media, and while we try to define the limits of empowerment strategies, shouldn’t we ask the following questions to ourselves to researchers, how the exposure to adult materials affect young people’s behavior, their perceptions, and attitudes, their social and emotional development? What do you think?

Violence, hate speech, gender stereotypes, exploitation, sexualization in media and on line, are we able today to assess the short term and long term impacts of those environments where our children spend enormous hours?

When we try to define the limits of empowerment strategies, perhaps children’s age is number one to mention. Do you agree? And the second topic which I would like to slightly touch upon is the adoption of technology in the classroom. Technologies are great tools for education, but on the other hand, recent global studies demonstrated that heavy investments in school computers and classroom technology have not improved pupil’s performance in no single country. Shouldn’t we revise our approach to using ICTs in education? What do you think? What should be the focus of such initiatives? Is one laptop pour child or one tablet per child? Should we more concentrate on tools or competencies? And what competencies, I’m concluding, and what competencies should we prioritize since we have been, we have started discussing, which competencies should we prioritize, technical skills like coding? Critical thinking skills or social skills, communication, participation, or content creation capacity? Let’s start discussion and try to find answers to these questions. Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, I think you have put to some questions to the audience that it’s easy for you to step in and try to give answers. Yes, please.

>> AUDIENCE: The European Commission. I intervene now because I have to leave in a moment. I will explain you why. But.

>> Don’t leave before gender.

>> AUDIENCE: I would love to but I have to leave because I need to discuss the preparation of the annual film on fundamental rights and why I’m mentioning this is this year’s Kellogg film is on media democracy and there are questions related to media literacy so all of the things you are discussing would be absolutely great if we could get the outcome of this discussion, your data, because that’s what’s important for us to get data, data, data, examples, examples, examples of things that do not work, and some ideas how we can fix them.

And the commission has already organized last year this Kellogg film on tolerance on antiMuslim speech, antisemitism. I think we delivered concrete results. We have code of conduct on illegal hate speech on line that you may be aware of, and I think that this year there is appetite also to do concrete things.

So if you could participate, help us in this debate, that would be absolutely fantastic. So many thanks.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. There was someone over there. Can we have another microphone in the room so we don’t lose so much time switching the microphone right to left?

>> AUDIENCE: Yes, thank you. My I’m working at the Council of Europe. And I wanted to continue a little bit the discussion about education for Democratic citizenship because I find this very crucial, and when we think of education for Democratic citizenship, we also have to think about for what kind of democracy we want to prepare the students because, well, the model of representative democracy, there are so many problems associated with it at the moment, so I think education for Democratic citizenship should also teach like in other ways did Democratic decision making which are more participatory and in the context of participatory and deliberative democracy. And, of course, critical thinking is crucial for this as well.

So I think we should really be focusing on the more participatory aspects there, and prepare the students also for a world in which Democratic participation is not only about voting your representative, but really changing this political culture towards more participation on a daily basis. And actually at the Council of Europe, we are preparing a Forum actually act exactly about this question which will take place in November, the world Forum for democracy, and the focus of this year’s world Forum for democracy is exactly about education and Empowerment Through Education. So I would also really invite you to join us also for this debate at the Council of Europe in November because, of course, we rely very much on your expertise there as well.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Could you say where it takes place?

>> AUDIENCE: Strasbourg, 7 9 November in Strasbourg this year.

>> MODERATOR: We have you over there and the guy standing in the back.

>> AUDIENCE: I’m Paolo Chilotta. Just in logical order, some specific things that are coming to my mind, I listened to what you said. Indeed it’s a very broad subject, and so maybe we will discuss it a bit later, but it would be very easy to get lost and that this is what has happened in the last years, media literacy, information literacy is about too many things, but I think it would be helpful to build on what has been done so far. And there are a number of resources that are accessible.

Indeed you are aware of the work about teacher curricula is we ourself on behalf of European Commission have done a number of studies in media literacy and media literacy assessment and they do exist indicators, but it is very controversial issue. There is this frame and this conceptual map that exists and indeed the core aspect of media literacy is critical capacity. So indeed coding is important, but the coding for the sake of this argument is even more, and the three aspects are indeed technical issues broadly defined but then indeed we have to be updated with what is going on, so what does this encompass. Critical is meaning analysis, meaning the capacity to evaluate media messages, and I’m sorry I have hearing aid so the tone of my voice, I have to calibrate.

The participatory aspect in communication is indeed very important. The competencies and things that can be done about children, I think that one thing would be to raise awareness. We have to develop, produce and distribute in 20 different languages short cartoons. One of them is about awareness meaning that if a child is, take distance and reflects on the fact that this has been played or has been on Internet for a couple of hours, this already is a good step to reflect about his behavior.

One more thing that I want to touch upon is that empower doesn’t mean protection. Empower is a more promotional proactive thing, much broader concept. I stop here for the moment.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Please.

>> AUDIENCE: Charles, I’m from I strongly agree with Paolo critical thinking is in the under pinning it’s pointless to teach coding to people who don’t have capacity for critical thinking because they will be rubbish coders. When you teach critical thinking, you need something to teach it through. You can’t just say, you know, we are going to learn to think critically. You have to think critically with something concrete. Coding is as good a thing as language or building cars or cooking. They are all subject material.

Putting technology into schools is valuable not because it’s anything very magical, but because it provides a way of making sure that all kids get to see and play with the kind of stuff that is part of the world, and that’s what it really does. It doesn’t actually teach them anything brilliant. They will learn how to use machines as much as they care.

And, again with coding, most people in real life don’t care. They don’t want to learn coding because they are never, ever going to do it. Like the people who buy video recorders and never, ever use it, programmed it to record the TV. It’s not relevant. So focusing too hard on teaching stuff that people don’t want is a waste of resources, and a waste of people’s time. You are not giving children the things they need.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for bringing in that from the old media, but example about video recorders. We have one person there, and then we have one remote participant, and then we go to the next key person.

>> AUDIENCE: I will try to keep this short and snappy, car Lena, from IFLA, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and I notice we have been discussing in a quite abstract way how and when and why we should have media and information literacy. I would like to propose a solution, both participatory and technical aspects of media literacy should be taught by libraries obviously. The reason I’m saying this is that it’s already taught by libraries.

The importance of media and information literacy as an education discipline has been discussed here and it’s not something inherent in every teacher, but rather a specific topic, one which librarians happens to be experts in. Therefore, school libraries have a vital function in teaching literacy skills and these skills will then be applicable to every subject they would study in schools sort of umbrella topic and that’s how you would evaluate the skills the question you had before because you would see through everything you teach, which is a great thing.

And so library staff support the use of books and other sources, both fictional and documentary, both print and electronic, and on site and remote, and they would teach both prime materials and different methodologies for students to learn from. It has been demonstrated that when librarians and teachers work together children achieve a here levels of literacy, problem solving and information and technology skills to it has always been there but it has become more important due to the vast information resources available today and this is a good thing because it opens for more and different perspective.

It also means there is less curation of available content in a library because anyone can publish themselves and, therefore, skills for critical evaluation is much more important than it was before and this is what school libraries and public libraries teach. So recommended reading about this would be the again he is could and IFLA school manifesto. But I think libraries have a vital role to play and they already are so any initiatives should be in collaboration because there are a lot of skills to use which are not being used currently.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, we take the remote comment.

>> AUDIENCE: My name is Michael Oghia. I’m with New Media School as well. I’m the remote moderator, but it’s something I want to say. There is no remote comment there, so I will keep this short. I want to piggyback, follow up on something that was said before. I arrived in Brussels on Saturday, and on Sunday I had lunch with two friends. She happens to in her 40’s and has a 7 year old son, and she was telling me about her son goes to a school in Brussels, a good school. And according to her there is not one single computer that is eligible for the elementary school kids to use here in Brussels.

So I think it’s interesting that especially here we are talking about this obviously with global implications, sitting in the capital of Europe, and yet there are schools that still do not have not just the ability for, or not just skills being taught, but the ability for those skills to be taught. That goes way beyond the capacities to teach them. You can’t teach coding, forgive me if I’m wrong, without somewhat access to some kind of computer. So I just wanted to share that anecdote to help frame the conversation and keep it also grounded with the idea that there is still a lot of challenges that everyone in all countries and schools have to overcome. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks a lot. Again, I will try to phrase a key message from that part. I think that we will stick to our timetable and you will have three more slots where you can step in. I try to phrase a message from that part and I think many of the questions you have posed have been answered, like the one about technology in schools. We cannot answer that completely, but at least we got a notion that they are important even though you have some statistical evidence that the learning achievements did not improve in all of the subjects, but the computers play an important role when given access to the children at schools.

I think one of the main messages is that empowerment does not mean protection only. Protection can be part, must be part, but we could not see that empowerment would be protection. Empowerment Through Education should go far beyond, and it should empower for critical thinking, and I think also what you mentioned the critical evaluation of the content that you will find like you have put that always been a task of librarians to teach people to critically evaluate the content they find in the media that are provided.

I think that was a short phrasing for the main message. Now, we come to gender aspects from media literacy education.

>> BELMA KUCUKALIC: Yes, I can talk a lot, so please feel free to give me five minutes. Can you then just imagine computers in Bosnia, M name is Belma Kucukalic. I come from the capital of Herzegovina. One World Platform and I had many different intros but now Charles and you, sir, you gave me a completely other way of starting my conversation with you today.

What I want to point out, please, gender is not a female issue or women’s issue. Gender is an issue of our society. Also I want to, before I actually start on what we do and why is it important today, majority of what you said about coding. There is a lot of initiatives on girls and women in ICT called girls should code or girls code and whatever. Personally, me, and I have been dealing with girls and women from Bosnia, Herzegovina for the past few years. I don’t think every girl should know how to code. I think he or she should have the opportunity to learn. That’s the entire point. Not everyone should or can code.

Now, one real platform in Bosnia Herzegovina, we are actually the only organisation in Bosnia Herzegovina that deals with empowerment of equipment on technology on and the other side we talk about empowerment does not mean protection which is my favorite sentence. We deal with online harassment and cyber bullying of girls and women on line. Now, there are three major things I want to point out today.

Role models, unemployment, and accessibility, and please have in mind that I come from a country that is not part of European Union, however, geographically we are part of Europe. Now, in terms of role models, I think it’s actually global issue. It’s not the issue of Europe or Bosnia Herzegovina, if we think what are the models we give to girls. For example, I will tell you a quick story, when I got here I had to change to different airports and I found books, I think here. There is a little cartune book for kids, there is a boy on the cover and the book is called Boys Learning How to Create Video Games.

And there is a boy on it. It’s just video, create your video game and there is a picture of a boy. And then on the other side, it’s the same, same publisher, there is a book called Online Security and there is a girl on the front of the page. So immediately and, of course, if has pink covers still in 2016. So it’s immediately girls are connected with safety. Girls are connected with tech and human issues. For example, in parallel right now, my boss, and I’m lucky to have her as my boss is sitting. She is the only woman on the panel on surveillance and terrorism. You are not going to hear girls and women discussing cyber terrorism. When we talk about Human Rights and lighter issues we have female.

Why am I talking about this issue? This is the first problem, do we give role models to girls to start with in educational system? We have been working a month ago with girls from 13 to 15 and we have been talking about Grace Hopper and Ida Lovelace. Nobody knows that one of the first programmers in the world is female. We have Wi Fi because there was a girl years and years ago who actually tried, who also had opportunity at that time to actually do this.

Unemployment. Why is unemployment super important? Bosnia Herzegovina has 60% of youth unemployment, and for us, we have enough lawyers and economists. We are done with that, but we need to open our, we need to bring more girls to job markets where they work in ICT environments. For example, because Herzegovina don’t have problems of Americans where we lack girls in STEM in schools. We have 50/50 range if we talk about educational systems and girls enrolling in engineering, et cetera. However, then you have educated girls and then you have patriarchal system and society that tells them that they should have kids and maybe it’s better for them to have kids rather than actually be a CEO of a tech company, so you don’t really see them afterward.

You are not going to see them as the CEO of a tech company or you are not going to see them in decision making processes if we talk about, et cetera. You are not going to see female hack a thons or tech startups. And three, accessibility also has to do with culture and societal differences where, for example, according to our field work, you have especially talking about rural areas because I’m super privileged to be here today and speak with you in a language that’s not my native language.

So a lot of girls and women from Bosnia Herzegovina if they have a brother who is younger than they are will, the brother will get cell phone first and then she is going to get her cell phone or computer or whatever. So we have that type of accessibility. And then much less if we talk about any other type of accessibility. And I’m done.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. That was very fast, and very impressive, and, yes. Would you like to step in?

>> AUDIENCE: I would like to but not in this gender topic.

>> MODERATOR: Yes, but then I need to ask you to wait a bit because we are talking about other issues as well, but now the discussion should be about the gender issue.

>> BELMA KUCUKALIC: Or somebody wants to share their own context and girls in tech and what are the solutions and how do we discuss different contexts and different societies and different mechanism? There you go.

>> MODERATOR: Maybe the lady in the second row first because, Janice, you have already been talking.

>> AUDIENCE: You said lady, there is this trans thing.

>> BELMA KUCUKALIC: Queers, I’m so sorry.

>> AUDIENCE: I am actually a trans guy, but there is the issue with non binary people. We tend to talk a lot about women and men, but there is also people that aren’t identifying as either. My partner is one of them. They are intergender. So we need representation from all different people, and I, myself, am a programmer, but I actually receive kind of like disappointment from some movements that, oh, such a shame that you are not a woman, that you can’t represent women, but then I try to encourage them with like but I am a Trans person. That’s kind of great to have those in programming as well.

So we have to have this queer perspective of this as well.

>> MODERATOR: Could you say how does that relate to the media literacy education? Do you think we would need special addressing in the literacy education curricula?

>> AUDIENCE: More, like we have to empower more Trans people to be included in media. For example, gaming industry, there is not at all a lot of games that have characters that you can identify with if you are queer, for example, and a lot of examples in education where the only youths are binary genders and stuff like that. So we have to see to it that non binary people and all different kinds of queer people can identify with everything within the media.

>> BELMA KUCUKALIC: Fully agree and I congratulate you and I think one of the first steps in that you yourself are such an important role model. The reason I didn’t put it first, I swear, we work with LGBT community in Bosnia Herzegovina but if you go back to my context, all of my friends who are queer have violence on daily basis. I don’t know, just Google it up, so it’s even a bigger issue. So for them, it’s important to have Wi Fi currently, and then next step is thinking about identities and Internet and what knot. So each context has their priorities. I agree that gender is not about female and male. We should think about entire spectrum. Thank you for the comment.

>> MODERATOR: Janice.

>> JANICE RICHARDSON: European Schoolnet. There has been a lot of research done on this. And it shows that girls, for example, are better at the science subjects, better at Math subjects than boys early on, but it’s girls who don’t have the same expectations of themselves. And this is where it needs to change, and this is why it is so important, social and emotional learning at school from a very, very early age where girls don’t have to be very embarrassed if they are a leader in their field.

They don’t have to worry about not looking feminine because they don’t play with dolls. There is a lot of research. I won’t go into it, but it is girls’ you have of themselves as girls that are creating a lot of problems. Where do you start? Well, you start from age zero. You start with informing parents, and I think it’s exactly the same as what you said. This is where you also have to start in the LGBT debate.

>> BELMA KUCUKALIC: But then again it’s the environment that is social construct and environment is not created by girls only but girls expect that because society expects that.

>> MODERATOR: Remote or yourself?


>> AUDIENCE: I’m part of a women’s tech club in my city. We started up a months ago. I’m in the U.K. and my name is Ruth. It’s been amazing because I was really into technology when I was a teenager. I went to a summer camp where I was one of four girls and 50 boys, and when you said, I want to learn programming, people would kind of do it for you. And the only girl in the IT class. And I think it’s getting a lot better in schools, but what the women’s tech club in Bristol has been identifying really is that a lot of people go into it and then leave. It’s not because they don’t believe in themselves. It’s because the environments themselves aren’t welcoming.

And the stuff that they are teaching us is very different. It’s not tech skills, and it’s not education in the school or to teach. It’s sharing. It’s peer education and peer sharing. And it’s education without the kind of someone is the expert telling you what to do kind of patronizing, which to be honest is generally how women are addressed. You need to learn how to code. You need to learn how to do it this way.

So one of the things that they have been looking at is the recruitment processes, and the way that a lot of jobs have essential requirements and desirable requirements and people going women need to be educated to apply for higher level jobs and I’m like, no, actually the companies need to be educated to advertise how they actually want, what they actually want and they need to advertise in ways that doesn’t only focus on things that reach the same people.

So maybe part for me of education for empowerment is those people who are being excluded, women and other minorities, to actually educate tech companies and to educate that way around and that’s the way we can have an empowering education.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I take one more comment and then we wrap up this.

>> AUDIENCE: I will I’m Michael Kaufman. I will be short and to the point and a practical point. I totally agree with the speaker. I think these elements need to be addressed. If I look at our campaign, for example, when we did campaign on sexist hate speech, this is a great opportunity to address these kinds of concerns but many of our youth workers say I address hate speech, but what I’m actually discussing afterward is Human Rights in general, situation of women in society, LGBT in society.

So for me, entry points could be sexist hate speech and then, but we need to empower the teachers, the youth workers to then broaden that discussion on more systematic discrimination issues in society at large. So I think when we are approaching gender issue, we need to really empower people and to give them the right tools and there are enough manuals out there, give an entry point, sexist hate speech could be one, but then do the whole package.

>> Connected to that, what I mentioned yesterday in the plenary, the code of conduct of the EU doesn’t mention gender or LGBT. And because our member states are not willing to go that far of discrimination based on gender or based on LGPT, sexual orientation, Member States are not willing to go there get and this is a real problem because we don’t have the legal means in all countries to actually deal with this. So and that comes to the last point. Internet Governance needs people to speak up and all of these platforms we are visiting doesn’t have proper representation. So we need to lobby and see how we can improve that because that’s very important.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I think it’s easy to wrap up that because the first sentence Belma said is gender is not a female issue, but an issue of society, and if we summarize everything that has been said, it’s everybody is part of this society, and it doesn’t matter which gender you are representing. It’s a question of society and then it’s a question of Human Rights as well.

So I think we can summarize that in short. Now, Auke Pals, it’s your turn to talk about age, age barriers for children. We have not yet been talking about age although we have had a lot of considerations that are related to age. And not everything that was said counts for children and youth of all age. So it’s up to you to go to that point.

>> AUKE PALS: Thank you. Yesterday and today there has already been some technical sessions about blocking censorship, deleting content. And that’s making the issue urgent, but I want to take a look at the start of the Internet, and with the start of Internet Governance with the declaration of cyberspace by John Perry Barlow. He addressed that the aim of the Internet was not to be ruled by anyone, but by collaboration between different stakeholders, what we call the multistakeholder model.

And today in this session, I want to talk about the GDPR, and overall equality. I think they are adopt general data regulation protection is already in a good direction for data portability, the privacy and the obligation for companies to report data breaches, but unfortunately the policy maker that’s have been working on the GDPR have made it difficult to draw a clear line between, when the whole of Europe to decide what age is going to be allowed using social media and on which age data collection has to be stopped or has to be allowed.

These children are banned from social media like Google, Facebook, SnapChat, InstaGram and so on, but legally they are also banned from all services that collect data from them, also, for instance, online games or other services. Both technical and social it won’t be able for these chirp or it won’t be able to ban all of these children from these services. These children are being raised with the current technical influence around them in which they can be, it can be good in many cases these technical advantages.

For instance, at school we are already learning with iPads, for instance, tablets, and they can with these technical solutions, they can be empowered on their level of education. So, for instance, someone that’s less developed can learn on their level in the same class with their classmates with the same age. The current children are walking around with phones already at an early age, and I don’t think we have to stop them from using that. And these children are having these devices and they don’t want to stop it, so they will figure a way around that.

And the actual regulation that’s from, that’s not allowed to have data collection from the age of 13 is it’s a big clash with the current society because the actual regulation is made by politicians and the GDPR has been proposed in 2012 and now in 2016 it’s actually accepted and in 2018 it will be coming to force.

And as an entrepreneur consultant, I don’t like to point out only the problems. I would just start making social media available for everyone. Also for the children underneath the age of 13, because these children are affected by all of this influence in social life, and they will find a way around it. So there will be no good way of regulating that, and I think we have to start with educating these children on the effects of what they are posting on line or what it will mean for them if they are doing something on lane or having some actions to be published.

I will wrap up. And my last statement would be it would be a shame to block people that are technically able to use the Internet and use social media by some stupid regulation and with decided by all politicians. Thank you.

>> CHAIR: Thank you very much Auke Pals. I just pro poised to change the agenda a bit because I know John Carr is able to talk about age barriers so we take your statement now and can you hand over the microphone, please. And then we will discuss what can education do to empower young people at what age to make use or not to overcome age barriers but to deal with them. So John Carr.

>> JOHN CARR: So point number one, I guess, there was a major piece of research done in the United Kingdom United Kingdom, I’m sorry, John Carr representing the European NGO, Alliance for Child Safety Online. There is a major piece of research done in the United Kingdom a few years ago led by professor Andy Pippen and he interviewed teachers in schools where the children were just arriving in, big schools, so children had been in infant schools and junior schools in the U.K. around the age of 10 or 11 we go to big schools, we call them secondary schools.

What all of these teachers said pretty much or a vast majority of them said was that by the time the children are arriving at big school, so age 11, 10, 11, maybe 12 at the outside age, their habits as Internet users have already been formed. They arrive at school and they do things using the computers, using the Internet, using their different devices and if teachers can do anything it is remedial in nature.

So when we discuss education and empowerment, what we need to be thinking about is how we reach these young generations of users. 30% of children over the age of 3 in Britain have their own tablet. They are not borrowing their parents. They are not borrowing their big sister or brother’s, they have their own. So these are the age groups we need to be focusing on if we are talking education and empowerment. Otherwise we will be talking about remedial work, catching up, wrecking things later on no disrespect to EuroDIG, but my definition of a young person is very different than the definition that EuroDIG has.

The reason in every country in the world I know of when you reach 18, you are an adult. Your legal position, your legal rights, everything is identical for a 95 year old and an 18 year old. Chirp are below the age of 18 and you never see them in EuroDIG. They aren’t in this room. They don’t have beards or go to discos, but this is a critical, critical group of users.

Now, let me just go back very, very quickly I guess about the GDPR. This is the single most important decision that the European Union has ever made about children’s rights in the online space, and they got it comprehensively wrong. Let me just read briefly from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12, States Parties, that’s Governments, that’s insure every child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting them. Article 13, every child shall have the right of free expression, have the right to seek, receive, and empower information and ideas of all kinds in any form or through any media of the child’s choice.

Notice neither of those Articles mention an age limit. Then talk about the capacity of the child, they talk, but they don’t talk about an age limit. Neither do the Articles speak about the child needing the parents’ permission to do these things. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child say this is a right, a legal right that the child has in and of their own right. What has the European Union done? It has said no. You have to be 16 before you can join Facebook, before you can download an app, before you have an email account, before you can do many, many things that we take for granted that we all do on the Internet.

And you have to be 16 otherwise before that age, so 15, 14, 13, whatever, you need your parents’ permission. Why? Because they didn’t think it through. They didn’t get it right. They didn’t speak to anybody. This was a very bad, a very rushed decision. So whereas previously we had a de facto practice of 13 as being the minimum age, one that was widely ignored but we will come back to that in discussion, nevertheless we had a de facto minimum age of 13 for every country in Europe except Spain based on a piece of legislation passed in the United States of America in 1998 before Facebook or before web 2.0 or social media existed.

We have now got not just four potential new ages because although they said 16 is the default minimum age, the new default minimum age, Member States will in fact be able to choose 15, 14 or 13. So whereas in the past, every child in Europe had the same sort of possibilities to go on line and communicate bearing in mind the rule of 13, now Member States are going to be able to choose 15, 14 or 13 or in exact they could choose 15.5, 14.5, 13.5. It’s an appalling decision. And yet there are many them in the Parliament, many people who are here who were not aware that this happened. It shows us the bubble that we live in. For me this has been a huge deal. I can’t imagine how they made such a terrible mistake. I spoke to a member of European Parliament, had no idea what I was talking about.

And yet, they voted for it. So there we are. There are lots of practical consequences that arise from this. Let’s assume, just my last quick point, I will give you one concrete example. Let’s assume your country decides to stay with the default age of 16. There is the minimum age at which you can join Facebook or a social media platform. Say I’m a pedophile and I go to Facebook looking for somebody to connect with for the purposes of having sex, I’m entitled to assume legally that everybody I now meet on that platform is at least 16 years old because the law says you have got to be 16 to be on there.

Can I be arrested for grooming that child or that young person even though they are not 16? Probably not. If the age of consent to sex is the same, which is in Britain, for example, 16 is the age of consent to sex. If 16 is the age at which you can join the social media platform, everybody who goes to that platform will be entitled to assume that the person that they are now talking to on that site is 16 and, therefore, is open to being sexually propositioned without it being illegal.

It’s another example of how people here in Brussels didn’t think it through. They didn’t talk to people who knew about these issues. They just rushed it through at the last minute, and it’s a complete disgrace. I think it contravenes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I think it would be open to legal challenge. The single most important decision, this is literally my last word because I can see you are getting agitated young Mr. Shrems in Austria he brought down the Trans-Atlantic data transaction laws which the European Union and the United States of America had put together, he took them to court and won and completely turned upside down the whole basis in which transatlantic data transactions are taking place.

I am convinced that there is a young person out there now, he is going to take their national Government, possibly even the European Union to court in the not too distant future and get this overturned because it contravenes international law. There you are. I have said too much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your statement.


And I think now we have 40 to 50 more people in the room who know about this and maybe one of them will have a child that will take them to court one day. Yes, I have seen some hands already raised and so does it fit in right now? Then you will get the microphone now?

>> AUDIENCE: Actually it fits into the gender issue tangentially nevertheless. My name is Osmon, last name is very difficult so let me just stay there. I am a professor of ICT, Information Communication Technologies. I don’t have educational, I teach, but I did have a student, yes, I did advise a thesis on the effect of getting exposed to or having access to technology, digital technologies, let’s say on the students.

I’m aware of Professor Pippen’s studies that the gentleman mentioned, I apologize, I don’t know his name, but I will make two points, and the reason I’m making these points, let me mention that earlier too.

I was a member of Parliament, and as such I was a member of apartment parliamentary Council of Europe as well and there I raised these issues and I hope action will be taken by the console of Europe along these lines not only E.U. There is digital divide that everybody knows, research findings. I will make two points of that. There is a digital divide that we all know, but there is also a secondary digital divide that we found out, I thought we found out in this research, but I realize that it was earlier detected in fact under the name of Matthew’s effect, referring to Matthews chapter of the Bible.

It is those who have will have even more. What does this equate to? Giving children the technology does not necessarily eliminate let alone reduce, does not even reduce let alone eliminate the digital divide, but it can even exaggerate it. That’s because there is something called social capital that you come to the school with 10, 11, 12 years old, Professor Pippen’s study shows, establish your Internet usage abilities and habits. But those who do not have that background like in Turkey, then they stay away with the concern that they will touch into the technology and break it down.

And that applies to genders too, the girls, well, in this case, girls are more afraid of getting close to the technology.

>> MODERATOR: May I ask you to be a little bit brief.

>> AUDIENCE: This is a real general concern. There is a major so called project, it’s not really a project in Turkey giving tablets to every student, and having interactive white board they call it smart white board. There is nothing Smart about it, but it’s interactive, white board to every classroom. A major so called project is not even a project. It does not reduce the digital divide, and hence the last recommendation that I will make is that Council of Europe as well as EU should prepare guidelines on how critical thinking, of course, very important, but guidelines on having access to digital technologies and education, educating the parents if you want a good result along those lines.

And I, as a former politician also agree that politicians do not realize youth’s needs and attitude towards technology. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I think you have picked up a good point because when talking about guidelines and on the other hand what we have just heard from the two last key persons in the session is that when it comes to that age barriers, what would be with the guidelines? Would we have a different guideline for children to be educated in a country that has picked up 13 years of age barrier or 14 or 15 years so what guidelines would we produce and what curricula would we produce? And we already had come to the conclusion that intercultural curricula would be good to have, but on the other hand, if we don’t have an inter cultural agreement about what is the right age for children to access social media, then it’s a complete mess.

We would not end up with guidelines that could be of use for everybody. So we have you in the background, and then you over there, and Hans, yes.

>> AUDIENCE: A couple of points, lots and lots of 20 year olds are not allowed to buy beer because they live in the United States, and yet the world doesn’t fall apart. We can actually deal quite well with different age limits as part of intercultural understanding. We know that different cultures set different rules. Lots of children do go to discos. They are not allowed to, and its illegal, but they go anyway. Lots of children learn to drive cars and use guns and do things that legally we say this is not something people should do, but we know they do it, and we know they get social capital by being able to do these things.

So one of the critical things is not, you know, how do we get to the children, how could we teach children who are three and five and seven and part of that comes through curricula and schooling and part of that is something that schools will not be able to do. You have to work with parents, families, peers, and make sure that they are part of children learning to understand how technology works because by the time they get to the school, the school is not equipped to really change what they are doing.

If we are not getting into the understanding of how society sees these things, we are fooling ourselves and we will have a very limited impact.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Over there and then, yes.

>> AUDIENCE: I just want to make a comment about what you mentioned, and policy. It’s so true that the fact that notwithstanding evidence is that the European Union came up with such nonsense saying that it is a limit age given the fact that Member States can decide below 16 years old. Why is that? I think that is, we should reflect is that there is no issue, it should not be very surprising. At the same time, while we are discussing about the importance of media literacy, media literacy is has disappeared in the proposal of the audio visual media service directive that the European Commission has just sent to the European Parliament.

So we have to be aware that in Brussels unless the interest of the quality educational sectors, Civil Society, it is judged quite naive because there are on the other side much stronger economic power that put forward the interests in a much better organized way is as now set the scenario by which is, we are talking about consumers and markets and cities, and it’s all a matter of business, technology and not critical thinking is commercial interest rather than social and cultural ones.

This is not a surprise. I would say that if we want to achieve some more tangible objectives, we have to strengthen our links with the bodies that make this policy, the European Parliament and the European Commission and the international Governments and so forth, otherwise I’m afraid the future in terms of policy, and in terms of fans as well, and because the fans and money that would be available for the media literacy community, if it’s just for education, notwithstanding how important is education, but this is quite a rhetorical argument in Brussels.

We have to be strong on a very solid and concrete way, meaning talk to your contacts on policy.

>> AUDIENCE: So I have a joint question for Auke Pals and John. So you both seem to agree on the fact that the outcome is rubbish, so you don’t like it. But I have the impression you think that for a fairly different reason. So in the way Auke Pals approach you seem more libertarian in the fact that we shouldn’t be liberating children while John is pointed to the fact that children do need certain specific rights to provision and also protection. So I was wondering, we know you think it’s rubbish, but what would have been the alternative so, Auke Pals, would you want them to leave out any reference to children and, John, would you then still be happy with that as it being a better solution?

>> MODERATOR: I give the opportunity to both of you to answer that and then you have your turn.

>> AUKE PALS: Thank you, Hans for the question. I want to stress that we can, we can have a solution for that. For instance, platforms like, for instance, Facebook are able and accessible for everyone, but they are not allowed to sell or distribute the data that they are collecting to secondary platforms. So I think it has to be accessible for everyone because we are having an open and free Internet. That’s the aim.

But they are not, they can be left out of selling data, for instance.

>> JOHN CARR: Yes, okay. So I mean you could take the view as our friend at the end does that rules are irrelevant because kids do it anyway, which is a stupid point of view. These rules have legal consequences, profound legal consequences. I haven’t got time and I am an ex lawyer, happy to explain them at great length at lunch if you want, but we don’t want our institution to make bad rules because they are irrelevant. We want our institutions to make good rules if at all possible.

So Hans’ question, what are we going to do because this is where we are. This is it. It’s the law. It’s going to be law in June of 2018 in every single country including my own because I’m sure we will still be in the European Union in 2018. My practical proposition is that I have got two things. First of all, I think the commission needs to come clean and say what it thinks the path forward is, how, what clarifications, what self regulation of the mechanisms might be developed to help deal with this new scenario. By the way, no group in this room should spend any money now on developing new materials and education empowerment for children until you know what your national Parliament, your national Government is going to do about the able, the legal age, you probably, you could be wasting your money.

The other group of people I think that we are going to have to bring into this are the data protection authorities. Both the new European data protection supervisor and the national data protection authorities in each of the 28 Member States, so try to help us all to understand how they think the consequences of this new regulation are going to be in practical terms. My basic position throughout this whole thing, and this doesn’t start in 2012. This started in 2009, but even if, let’s take 2012 as the starting point, that is a long time for something like this to have been going through the process and still come out the other end as bad as it did. My position has been we have to have fixed ages, we have to have rules based on age, but they should be based on research that justifies the decision that we take about age.

The only reason 13 was established as de facto standard in Europe is because of the American companies adopted it and the only reason the American companies adopted it is because they were obliged to by the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a piece of legislation developed in the 20th century when I was still young before social media existed, before Web 2.0 existed Web 2.0, Google didn’t exist. Well, Google just existed. Zuckerberg was 14 years old and still at school. So it is a completely out of rule that it should have been comprehensively visited and assessed before the European Union took the view that it did. We are past that now. I think all we can do is look to the Parliament, the Commission and above all the data protection authorities to try to ameliorate the situation as best we can.

>> MODERATOR: We have run out of time, but we will take these two more statements and then I will wrap up in one sentence, I think.

>> AUDIENCE: Yes, there shouldn’t be an age limit to partake in the discussion within society. There is, the use of social media is a very important tool for us in this digital age for talking about anything. Democracy is kind of based on that discussion, and there should not be any age limit to take part of that.

With the argument about people in different countries having different kind of age limits, for example, buying beers is kind of not relevant because buying beer is not a Human Right, but being part of a democracy.

>> MODERATOR: Good point.

>> AUDIENCE: David Rote from the U.K. Safe Internet Centre, part of the In Safe Net for Kids program. It’s more, I suppose, picking up on two comments, and also the title around Empowerment Through Education, and I’m thinking more education and the education system, and from the U.K., typically from a U.K. perspective as well. So looking at schools, so 10, 20 years ago school used to be a place where people would go along to see new things, particularly technology.

Where we are today we are often required to power down. They are not allowed to take technology into school. So we have almost done a complete reversal of where we were 10, 20 years ago. So the environment and the availability of technology is one comment and then the capability of a school to provide formal education, which is a point that was made at the outset, one of the tools that we, we as across Europe have tools that enable schools to assess where they are with online safety, their capability, and from a U.K. perspective, that is the result of some 10,000 schools.

The staff training and the capability of staff is consistently the weakest part. The evidence suggests that schools spend more time training parents than they do their own staff. So we are not necessarily in a position to even, we haven’t got the technology available, and we haven’t got the skills within the formal education systems to deliver it so two fundamental problems to overcome, and given the complete reversal we had 10, 20 years ago.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks a lot. You gave me the perfect assist to just score the final goal because I think what we are doing here is talking about Internet Governance and I would like to summarize it and bring it back to that point which task would Internet Governance have in that question for Empowerment Through Education? So what can, what role should Internet Governance play and how can we influence that process? And I think we came to different statements about age, so age is debatable, and also, I think, what content should be in the media and information literacy curricula is debatable.

There were many suggestions, but it’s, it’s debatable and this should be part of the further discussion. But in the end, Internet Governance, governance at all should insure that all have equal opportunities and equal access to education. So when we debate what content is in the curricula, that is okay, but we could not debate about having equal access to education and have equal opportunities to make use of whatever the Internet is offering not only to young people, but to all people around the world, and so I would like to take that message to the EuroDIG back to the plenary that Internet Governance has a role to play in that and has the task to insure equal opportunities and equal access to education. Thank you.


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