UNICEF Montenegro presented application for children aiming at the prevention of online violence, on 16 November 2016. The title of the application is “NET friends”. Tea Brezinšćak, psychologist of the Centre participated in the development of the application.
UNICEF research conducted within the campaign “End Cyberbullying” showed that 79% of children aged 9 to 11 used the Internet, most often accessing it via the smart phone. The same research showed the weaknesses in the digital skills of children and the need for support. Half of the examined children said they were feeling safe on the Internet and did not know what to do in the situations when they were exposed to inappropriate online behaviour. One out of ten children reported to have had embarrassing experience on the Internet. Obtained data show that only 2% of children report abuse, while others close the window or the application.
Findings of this research resulted in UNICEF developing an application to raise the awareness of children and adults about the dangers on the Internet and provide knowledge about responsible and safe internet use, as well as about how children and adults can report abuse. The application was developed in cooperation with children, parents, the UNICEF good will ambassador of Montenegro Antonije Pušić, musician Vlado Maraš, the Studio for interactive design Fleka as well as with professionals in the filed of child development, Internet and abuse, among which was Tea Brezinšćak, psychologist of the Centre.
The application is designed as educational game taking children through real situations they may encounter when using the Internet. It teaches the children to recognise, prevent, stop and report abuse they encounter. Its content, language and creative solutions are adjusted for the children aged 9 to 11, it is fun and attractive for them, while at the same time promoting the development of digital literacy in children.
UNICEF Montenegro emphasises that the application can also be used by parents, and in schools helping teachers, regardless of their digital skills, to promote the culture of non-violence and teach online safety. The application is free, available in Montenegrian, and is adapted for Android and iOS platforms, also possible to download from the Google Play and App Store. More information is available on this link: https://www.unicef.org/montenegro/campaigns_29976.html