Would you like your children to be careful with online strangers? To protect their personal data and to respect the privacy of others? To develop from very young age their critical thinking concerning online information credibility? To respect diversity? To know how to confront grooming, cyberbullying or defamation situations online?
The purpose of “Τhe Internet Farm” is to initiate children into the basic rules of Internet use from very young age, and to help them in acquiring from early childhood the necessary skills that will empower them to surf online responsibly, ethically and safely, and to benefit from the endless opportunities of the online worlds, while avoiding the pitfalls.
Through five joyful stories taking place on an animal farm, children become aware of the following very important online safety issues:
* Receiving emails from strangers / Revealing personal data in online quizzes (Story: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing)
* Meeting up with people they’ve met online / Publishing personal pictures online (Story: No Feathers and No Fleece!)
* Racism on the Internet / Reliability of online information (Story: Catching the Spotted Virus)
* Identifying ways in which strangers approach children online (Story: Unknown “Friends”)
* Cyberbullying / Publishing other people’s pictures / Manipulating pictures / Ethical Internet use (Story: Our Turtle is Leaving!)
The two most important issues, protection of privacy and treating online friends always as strangers, reoccur and are discussed in the stories.
The main characters in the tales are two children: Nicky and Nicholas who, along with their dog Hercules, take care of the farm. They also have a trusted ally, Powell the owl, a wise counselor and guide. The children assume the role of real-life parents. Hercules stands for a trusted family friend, who knows what’s proper and what’s not when it comes to surfing online, protecting thus, when necessary, our underage users. The wise owl assumes the role of the educator, who has his own way of guiding the kids towards the right sort of information and knowledge, and of helping them develop their critical thinking.
We invite you to read or listen to the stories along with your children, and discuss any issues that may come up. In this way you can get them thinking about and sharpen their capacity to recognize similar issues on their own online adventures, now and in the future. The small quiz of each story will help you with this task. With alternating questions, the children will sum up and consolidate what they have learned, receiving after successful completion of all quizzes the “Internet Farm Certificate of Knowledge”.
Furthermore, the children will have fun bringing the stories’ illustrations to life by interacting with the app, with the puzzles of various difficulty levels or by colouring the stories’ illustrations. The app is completed with “The brief dictionary of the Internet Farm” and the “Basic safety rules for enjoying the Internet”.
The first story of the app along with the brief dictionary and the basic safety rules is for free; the other four stories can be purchased through the app.
The app is available in English and Greek.