Ireland is a well-connected country with high levels of broadband access and mobile penetration. Ninety-five per cent of households with children have access to the internet and online activities are thoroughly embedded in all aspects of children’s lives. Use of the internet at home as well as use of mobile devices is well above the European average. Daily use of the internet in school however is below. Despite high levels of access, the range of children’s activities is rather narrow. Parents in Ireland have also tended to adopt a quite restrictive approach towards children’s internet use. Use of parental controls (44%) is similar to UK levels (44%).
EU Kids Online findings have informed a number of policy initiatives, including the formation of a government task force on internet safety. EU Kids Online has been used as reference data by the Office for Internet Safety, and by the Anti-Bullying Action Group.
Brian O'Neill is a member of the Internet Safety Advisory Committee which acts as a multi-stakeholder forum within the Office for Internet Safety. He also chaired the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group reporting to the Minister for Communications on future arrangements for internet safety and governance. A new National Council for Child Internet Safety is planned for 2014.
With support from the Department for Education and Skills, and funding from the National Digital Strategy, Ireland joined the Net Children Go Mobile project in 2013, building on the research developed by EU Kids Online.
Recent highlights include the 2012 Digital Youth national symposium which brought together educationalists and policy makers on internet safety issues. A further edition is planned for 2014. A new model in digital literacy and safety skills has been developed for the revised secondary school curriculum and is due to be introduced in 2014.
Brian O'Neill, PhD, is Head of the School of Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a researcher in media literacy and new media technologies. He is the author of reports and articles on media policy in relation to children, technology and new media. He is a member of the Digital Radio Cultures in the Europe research group. Areas of expertise: media literacy; Safer Internet programmes; digital literacy; ICT in schools; digital rights.
Professor Nóirín Hayes, PhD, is a developmental psychologist lecturing on children and childhoods, early education and research methods at the Dublin Institute of Technology. She is a founder member of the Centre for Social and Educational Research, author of extensive publications on practice and policy in early childhood education and an active member of the Irish Children's Rights Alliance.
Simon Grehan is the Internet Safety Coordinator at the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE). He is actively involved in researching children's use of the Internet, tracking emerging technologies, and raising awareness of the risks associated with their use. Simon is responsible for Webwise, the NCTE's Internet Safety initiative.
Sharon McLaughlin is a legal researcher and lecturer in the Department of Law and Humanities, Letterkenny Institute of Technology. She gained her PhD from the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) for her thesis, entitled "The Protection of Children in the Online and New Audiovisual Services Environment." She also holds a BA in Public and Social Policy (2001), a LLB. (2003) and a LLM in Public Law (2006).
Thuy Dinh is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Social & Educational Research at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Her research interests include impacts of technology on women/children’s lives, reproductive health and health care systems in transitional societies. She has worked for organisations such as the World Bank, UNFPA, DANIDA, the European Union, and Care International.
Safer Internet Day
Irish short report: Parental Mediation
Office for Internet Safety: http://www.internetsafety.ie/
Webwise: (www.webwise.ie) - Webwise provides parents, teachers, and children with educational resources, advice and information about potential dangers on the internet and empowers users to minimise or avoid these risks. Webwise shares best practice, information and resources with European partners through the Insafe network. Operated by the National Centre for Technology in Education
Facebook page for Webwise: http://www.facebook.com/Webwise
Hotline (www.hotline.ie) Irish hotline for reporting illegal content online.
Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland: (www.ispai.ie)
Teen Space (www.teenspace.ie) - Teenspace is a new national website provides information on events, activities and recreation services for children and young people from the ages of 10 to 18.
Irish Cellular Industry Association's Parents' Guide to Mobile Phones
Make IT Secure (www.makeitsecure.org) - This Irish website provides information on how to protect your computer and how to safely enjoy the benefits of connecting to the internet.
Facebook page for Digital Childhoods project (Brian O'Neill): http://www.facebook.com/digitalchildhoods
Dr. Brian O'Neill
Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellow
College of Arts & Tourism
Dublin Institute of Technology
tel: +353 1 402 3481+353 1 402 3481
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