Due to the fast and constant development of IT and social media in today’s world, the informatics curriculum in primary schools cannot follow the fast-changing trends and easily becomes out of date, failing to cover important topics, such as child safety and child security on the Internet or child manipulation by social media influencers (where children who are not equipped with the mental maturity needed to be able to separate fiction from reality are exposed to advertisements and products of endless photo editing created to push their desires in a specific direction).
University students at the Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb (Croatia) have recognized the need to convey the most important information on the issues, protection and self-presentation on the Internet to children. They are continuously collaborating with primary schools in Zagreb through S-L projects that aim to refresh the informatics curriculum with these burning topics.
During the winter semester of the 2016/2017 academic year, five students conducted a series of workshops as part of the S-L project: A safe friend is always in trend! The project was earmarked for pupils in 5th grade at the Rapska Elementary School. The topics included safe and responsible representation on the Internet and protection from cyber-bullying on the Internet. The project included workshops with pupils and lectures for parents on the topic of protecting children on the Internet. Work on the project required developing ideas, preparing material, collaborating with the school, designing and planning presentations and quizzes, material for parents, conducting workshops and finally evaluating the results and writing of the report.
All the students are students of Information Sciences at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb with excellent grades.
The project is a result of the continuous collaboration between the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences with primary schools in Zagreb through S-L projects that aim to refresh the informatics curriculum with many burning topics that are not covered by the curriculum.