At the heart of all our work is the belief that when used properly the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. We strive to take a balanced approach, making sure that we promote the positive opportunities, as well as responding to the risks and equipping children and young people to deal with them. Our work is to ensure that young people are able to use new technology safely and responsibly whenever and wherever they use the internet. They need to be able to look after themselves, their peers and play a part in the wider community and in essence be good digital citizens.
JI seeks to inform children and young people about what impact their online actions can have on themselves and others, both online and offline, in order to get the most out of the technology. Thinking before you post is a crucial 21st century skill. It is vital that children and young people are able to learn about this and that parents, carers and schools are able to play their part in this.
From experience, we can also say that for this choice to be a meaningful choice it has to be an informed choice. We want to ensure the opportunity provided by the choices made is utilized to really help people make a good choice – making sure that even parents know what tools are available to them, exactly what it is that they do, how they can be used to best protect their family, and that they are provided for free. At the same time, it should be clear that this is not a solution to keeping your child safe online, and what else you can do.
This model illustrates the many interrelated elements that fall under the digital literacy umbrella. These range from basic access, awareness and training to inform citizens and build consumer and user confidence to highly sophisticated, and more complex creative and critical literacies and outcomes. There is a logical progression from the more fundamental skills towards the higher, more transformative levels, but doing so is not necessarily a sequential process: much depends on the needs of individual users.
Skills for digital literacy could as well be classified under to three main principles: Use, Understand and Create.