The “SimSafety: Flight Simulator for Internet Safety” project ( http://simsafety.cti.gr/ - http - .cti) is co-financed by the European Union (Lifelong Learning Programme / Transversal Programme / Key Activity 3: ICT - European Commission,EACEA) and addresses parents, teachers and pupils. It approaches the issue of using the Internet safely and adopts a collaborative approach between adults and children aiming to create a common understanding of the risks entailed in Internet Use but also of the ways to deal with them.
For this reason, a gaming mechanism and scenario(s) are being developed in an Online Virtual Environment ( http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Main_Page - ) to familiarise game players with the possible Internet dangers through their “controlled” exposure to them since adults (parents and/or teachers) will be escorting their youngsters throughout the way. The young game players will be invited to use critical thinking to reveal – confront possible dangers by developing skills, acquiring knowledge, cultivating the culture of surfing the Internet safely.
Project partners come from various European countries (Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Portugal, Romania and the UK) under the coordination of the Hellenic Open University. They are qualified in complementary scientific areas (e.g. child education, adult education, psychology, development of educational software etc) and work closely together towards the theoretical design and the development of the game. An extended number of European countries (9) is expected to participate in the educational activities through game playing. They are going to exchange their experiences and successful stories and will disseminate them to a broader audience.
It is not the intention of this project to suggest that possible risks do overwhelm the possible benefits that the use of the Internet may have in the lives of young pupils. On the contrary, it is in the scope of this project to support its participants understand the possible Internet risks in a realistic dimension and invites parents and teachers to adopt the role of the “Chaperone”, approaching this way the issues which concern their children and/or pupils.
Target groups addressed will be pupils 9-11 years old (however, it is foreseen that older students may also be addressed by the SimSafety game). Parents, students and pupils will be invited to play the SimSafety game from home or at school, at time of the day which will be co-decided among project participants and partners and through their feedback to share their own perception of the added value of the “Flight Simulator for Internet Safety” from a pedagogical point of view but also in relation to what the game has to offer in confronting this specific problem.
It is the expectation of this project that all participants will benefit either through their participation in investigating ways of overcoming an existing problem in the case of the involved institutions or through acquiring interesting experience in the case of adults in the role of the “Chaperone” who will be involved in the habits and will confront the dangers faced by their children today. Finally, we expect that it is the young game players who will benefit the most. Through a Role-Playing Game (RPG) approach, children will be invited to promote skills such as critical thinking and imagination, questioning and speculation.
Hellenic Open University'
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tel: +30 2610 367418