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Educating 21st Century Children

Emotional Well-being in the Digital Age

image of Educating 21st Century Children

What is the nature of childhood today? On a number of measures, modern children’s lives have clearly improved thanks to better public safety and support for their physical and mental health. New technologies help children to learn, socialise and unwind, and older, better-educated parents are increasingly playing an active role in their children's education.

At the same time, we are more connected than ever before, and many children have access to tablets and smartphones before they learn to walk and talk. Twenty-first century children are more likely to be only children, increasingly pushed to do more by “helicopter parents” who hover over their children to protect them from potential harm. In addition to limitless online opportunities, the omnipresent nature of the digital world brings new risks, like cyber-bullying, that follow children from the schoolyard into their homes.

This report examines modern childhood, looking specifically at the intersection between emotional well-being and new technologies. It explores how parenting and friendships have changed in the digital age. It examines children as digital citizens, and how best to take advantage of online opportunities while minimising the risks. The volume ends with a look at how to foster digital literacy and resilience, highlighting the role of partnerships, policy and protection.

English

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Empowering an active and ethical (digital) generation

Empowering an active and ethical (digital) generation is a key policy goal for education ministries across the OECD. This chapter explores the subject of digital citizenship in all of its complexity, including the competencies to actively, responsibly and positively engage in online and offline communities. When online, even the most skilled digital citizens are likely to encounter cyber risks such as cyberbullying, sexting and revenge porn, as well as threats to their security and privacy. As well as victims, children can be the perpetrators themselves of these online misdemeanours. The anonymity and invisibility that the Internet provides can prompt children to act differently online than they might offline. This underscores the need for education systems to promote ethical online behaviour. This chapter explores how countries deal with digital risks through policies aimed at protection and promoting resilience, and highlights how they encourage active, ethical and empowered use of digital tools.

English

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