The Teachtoday initiative supports children, young people, parents, grandparents and teachers by providing practical tips and materials on how to use media safely and proficiently – irrespective of age, previous experience or potential limitations. One of the tools developed by the initiative is a media obstacle course that offers a fun way of learning about how to use digital media safely. In 2018, some of the stations in the obstacle course were translated into simple language versions and presented at a summer event hosted by an organization based in Bonn that helps people with disabilities live with greater independence.
All information and materials are available at www.teachtoday.de in seven languages (German, English, Croatian, Montenegrin, Polish, Romanian and Hungarian) and cover a wide range of topics centering on family, school and leisure time. The materials prompt families and teachers to communicate with each other and to encourage children and young people to develop appropriate skills and help shape the digital world.
Teachtoday also has its own YouTube channel with short catchy videos about safe, proficient internet use, data protection, and how truthful people are online.
Projects win awards at the Summit for Kids
In 2018, the annual “Media sure! But secure.” competition focused on the topic of “Responsibility online”. A call was put out for projects that show how children and young people can take responsibility online. After qualifying for the final in a public online poll, six teams presented their concepts at this year’s Summit for Kids in November 2018. First place was awarded to Class 7a from Georg Friedrich Händel Grammar School in Berlin for their video featuring a song they wrote that shows typical ways children and young people use digital media and offers tips on how they should behave.
Events with our partners – taking online safety on tour
As part of 2018’s Safer Internet Day, the Teachtoday initiative invited children to attend a day of campaigning at the Deutsches Museum Bonn. Under the slogan “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”, Dr. Thomas Kremer, Board of Management member for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom, talked with over 50 schoolchildren from Elisabeth Selbert Comprehensive School about their responsibilities when using the web. Afterwards, the children attended workshops on the challenges young people sometimes face when using messenger services, YouTube or social media. The participants created their own comics and animations to show that you can’t share other people’s photos without asking them first, that there are fundamental rules for chatting online too, that you shouldn’t blindly follow influencers and there are some private things that don’t belong on the web.
Teachtoday was also present at the “Media 2018” Federal Youth Conference held in March 2018 in Rostock. More than 300 “media scouts” took part – specially trained young people who advise their fellow students on how to use the internet. During the event, Teachtoday showcased its wide range of materials that the media scouts can use at school, including a media proficiency test and the media obstacle course.
An award-winning initiative
In 2018, Teachtoday received two “Comenius EduMedia Awards” from Gesellschaft für Pädagogik und Information (Association for Teaching and Information). The first, in the “IT, communication and media education” category, went to the initiative as a whole and the second, in the “General multimedia products” category, went to the Scroller media magazine.
Deutsche Telekom also secured victory in the #SaferInternet4EU Awards, which were launched in 2018 as part of the campaign of the same name formed by Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. The objective of this campaign is to help schools, associations for young people, parents, children and young people make the internet a safer place. The awards recognized exemplary projects by organizations, teachers and schoolchildren that work towards the same aim. Deutsche Telekom’s Teachtoday initiative came second place in the “Organizations” category.