10-12-2013 04:38 PM last edited 13-12-2013 12:31 PM by Dylan
I’m Abbie Reynolds, Vodafone’s Head of Sustainability & Foundation. It’s possible I have one of the coolest jobs in the company. I get to work with the Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s very own charity, which supports passionate people making a world of difference for young people. (More about that on the Vodafone Foundation website and Facebook page.)
And then there’s the Sustainability bit. When people hear Sustainability, they usually think I’m talking about the environment. And that’s certainly part of what I’m here to help Vodafone do, and I’m really passionate about it. I’m very proud of the handset Eco Ratings we launched last year, which helps our customers compare the environmental and social impact of different phones.
But sustainability is about more than that. It’s also about helping our business understand the issues that our stakeholders are concerned about, and then taking steps to address them. One issue we know lots of customers and other stakeholders are concerned about is how to keep young people safe on-line, and longer term, how we help young people learn to be successful digital citizens. Recent research from YouGov showed that 36% of Kiwi’s under five years old use the internet. By the time they reach six it’s almost 78%. Through our work so far, with Vodafone Blacklist, Vodafone Guardian app and the Parenting Place Connected programme, we have focussed on an older age group, and the research made us realise that we need to start talking to children much sooner.
So we’ve launched Digital Facts of Life – available for free from all our retail stores. At the heart, is Web Superskills - a series of activities we created with Moshi Monsters designed to help children aged five – nine learn the ‘digital facts of life’ through play. It’s packaged with some simple tips and tricks for parents as well, because parents are telling us that they often feel outclassed by their children in their use and understanding of technology.
Head in to one of our store locations throughout the country to pick up a free pack, and tell me how you find it. Was it helpful? Do you think this will help your children think differently about what they do on-line? Did your kids enjoy it? Check out the video below introducing it as well.
I’d also like to hear your tips and tricks for great digital parenting. What has worked for you? How are you helping your children to become great digital citizens? Where do you go for advice and support?
And finally, tell me what else you think Vodafone could be doing to help.
I’ll be back over the next couple of days to answer your questions, and after that I’ll be on the Community regularly tracking this conversation, so you can always pop back if you have more feedback.
Ngā mihi nui.
10-12-2013 06:34 PM
Great initiative Vodafone. I have a six year old boy who is transfixed by the ipad.
As a parent I do worry about him stubling on content that is not suitable for him, already I have had to curb certain aspects of his language gleaned by him from YouTube vids he's accidently seen.
Anything that keeps kids safe online and teaches them awarerness is ok in my book.
Well done Vodafone.
11-12-2013 03:11 PM last edited 11-12-2013 03:38 PM by Lon
Thanks Abby, this is absolutely fantastic and so, so important! Our kids are teens and probably too 'cool' to have this conversation now. =/ Fortunately we've done what we can to instill good values in our kids and to have a very keen sense of social awareness and so our approach thus far has been mostly to trust our kids to know when something is going in the wrong direction. Not ideal, I know, but it was the best we could do at the time without the tools.
Nowadays we make use of the Vodafone PC Protection pack which has made it easy to limit their access to certain times of the day and it enables us to block sites or highly inappropriate content. I can't stress enough how useful this pack has been in keeping our computer free of malicious software and helping me to control my kids' online time.
11-12-2013 03:17 PM
Totally agree. My 4 YO boy loves YouTube and there has been an instance where one minute he was watching Thomas the Tank Engine videos, I left him for less than a minute and he had stumbled accross footage of a train crash in Spain! Something that he definitely wasn't prepared to see, likewise it was something that I wasn't ready to have to explain to him.
Watching videos is something that we do together (or at least when I am present), otherwise internet is disabled. Not a bad way to learn stuff with the kids. Better than pulling out the old Encyclopedia Brittanica, anwyay
11-12-2013 03:21 PM
Great initiative! It's a great feeling that there is a company who cares about keeping my child safe online. It's a great step to involve and educate customers especially parents in this campaign!
As a mother of a 2 year old who knows how to navigate the iPad it does worry me to have her so easy to access the internet and youtube! Knowing where to find help is a great start - like this community
For my little one, I downloaded the app Mcgruff on our iPad this allowed me to block certain contents and sites that I don't want her to access. More than happy to promote this to my family and friends who also have kids.
Well done Vodafone!
15-12-2013 11:16 PM
Hi, this may be of interest. Linewize is an NZ business offering internet safety solutions to families. You can view our Kickstarter project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/899675155/tame-your-internet-with-surfwize-for-homes
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