Part of its campaign on Child Online Protection, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), through its cybersecurity team, held its first Digital Parenting Conference among its employees last 22 May 2018 at the DICT Seminar Room.
The said conference was conducted to raise awareness among parents on the responsible use of Internet and technology and equip them on the guidance and protection of children in this digital age especially those born in late 1990s as they are most in need of supervision on the use of digital technologies.
“The information age has given rise to the need of digital parenting. Parents play a key role in checking how the children use the digital media as they are the first and most important mediator. As the amount of time young people spend alone with digital media increases, the availability of parents for their interaction decreases; thereby introducing the role of parents as participants in co-learning with children,” said Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. in his welcome address.
He also acknowledged that while there are lots of entailed risks that come with the development of Information and Communications Technology, there is also a great deal of advantages in its advancement.
Ms Genalyn Macalinao, Project Lead of Cybersecurity Policy, then explained that it’s vital for parents to also be knowledgeable in ICT so they know how to traverse the world of cyber crimes such as computer fraud, cyber terrorism, cyber extortion, online libel, cyberbullying and online child exploitation.
The said conference is just a start. It will be followed by coordination with local government units and the promotion of outdoor physical activities to the “screen generation,” Ms Macalinao added.
The event was also graced by author and psychologist Dr. Michele Alignay who provided valuable insights and a deeper look at the dangers posed by the internet. In conclusion, she encouraged the participants to find the balance between normal and problematic use of ICT, as well as optimizing opportunities for their children and eliminating the risks posed by the cyberspace.
Shortly after the event, requests for another conference on a national scale started pouring in. Unexpected media coverage graced the event, fortifying the DICT’s perception of the need for the program. The public demand prompted the Cybersecurity Office of DICT to fast track the event. Most importantly, parents provided feedback on the changes within their families as they applied their learnings. One parent said she started implementing the “no gadgets on the table” rule and it paved the way for meaningful dinner conversations. The DICT is not just about technology, it’s about the heart of technology.