17 Aug 2020 – Social distancing measures have greatly increased the screen time of Thai children and their exposure to online risks such as fake news, sextortion and cyber bullying. In response to this challenge, dtac has joined with DEPA and the Thai Media Fund to create a “Class for Super Kids” and “Class for Super Teachers.” The “Class for Super Kids” curriculum is designed to boost Thai children’s digital resilience as well as knowledge in advanced technology to prepare them for the digital future. Meanwhile, the “Class for Super Teachers” offers teaching approach and materials for teachers to administer digital resilience classes. It also helps teachers stay relevant to the online learning environment, which has become the new-normal for Thailand’s education.
SKILLS FOR A FAST-CHANGING WORLD
A vast majority report being victims of cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content. The “Class for Super Kids”is designed to tackle these topics with strategies on identifying and avoiding online risks.
As for teachers, a dtac survey reveals that they are aware of their responsibility to help children learn about digital resilience, but only half of them are confident in their skills and knowledge in the topic. In addition, theycited their lack of ability to give students effective support when they face online risks, such as screen time overconsumption and cyberbullying. This year, the “Class for Super Teachers” will offer courses for teachers in 1) Gender Diversity Respect to Stop Cyberbullying; and 2) Digital Resilience.
Dr.Nattapon Nimmanpatcharin, President and CEO of Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), said “The spread of COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of technological application in social and economic aspects, leading to the development digital industries. DEPA realizes its role of raising the human capital of Thais, especially, young generation, to help the country firmly achieve digital transformation, both digital infrastructure and ecosystem. It’s clearly seen that youth can better leverage the use of technology compared to the older generation. To unlock their positive for their own sake and the country development, DEPA joins forces with partners to develop the two curriculum – “Class for Super Kids and Class for Super Teachers” – which will create both digital resilience for children and e-learning method of teaching skills for teachers. Those are necessary digital skills for the 21st Century.”
Dr.Thanakorn Srisuksai, manager of the Thai Media Fund, said, “Digital literacy promotion is one of our organization’s missions in order to create digital resilience for children in response to the growing trend of online media consumption. The creation of the Class for Super Kids curriculum will help children develop foundational technology skills and is a good start for all the involved partners to enhance Thailand’s digital spaces and ecosystem.”
NEW ROLES OF TEACHERS FOR THE NEW NORMAL
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the learning and teaching landscape, with online classes becoming much more common. But teachers feel ill-equipped to deal with these changes. The Super Teachers curriculum will equip them with skills in 1) Integrated Online Media for 21st-Century Teaching; and 2) Constructive Use of Educational Online Media.
Marcus Adaktusson, chief corporate affairs officer of Total Access Communication Plc or dtac, said, “Youth are on a rapid digital transformation journey, which comes with both opportunities and challenges. Based on the needs we have identified among youths, dtac is placing more efforts on digital upskilling, empowering youth to leverage the use of digital channels while becoming leaders and change makers in combatting online risks. As for teachers, they have to adjust to a ‘new normal’ while being empowered to help their students develop the digital skills for the future. It is dtac’s ambition to support in this journey.”
The digital resilience course develops children’s ability to distinguish online risks through critical thinking, helping them develop appropriate responses and behave as responsible netizens. It also covers topics such as online privacy and sexual abuse, diversity respect to stop cyberbullying and identifying fake news.
The digital upskilling course includes practical workshops on developing artificial-intelligence-powered chatbots, data visualization, storytelling and gamification.
In addition, dtac also opened the Class for Super Kids curriculum to the public, at its Young Safe Internet Camp, focusing on digital resilience and digital upskilling.
The “Class for Super Kids” and the “Class for Super Teachers” are now ready for youth and teachers at https://learn.safeinternet.camp/