There is an expressed need among Member States, developed and developing nations alike, to help youth develop digital citizenship competencies to better leverage the opportunities afforded by ICT for positive growth, as well as the capacity to manage corresponding risks. Educational programmes and policies that foster such competencies should be built upon an evidence-based understanding of children’s actual behaviour, experiences, issues and perceptions in the digital space. While previous research efforts concentrated mostly on the experience t of industrialized Western nations, research studies have been conducted more recently by various organizations and countries to expand the knowledge base in the Asia Pacific region(e.g. Global Kids Online, WeProtect Global Alliance, ThinkYoung and Google’s Digital Resilience study, UNICEF Digital Landscape studies, etc.). However, a cross-national research study within the region is still lacking. As such, there is a need to create a comparative research framework and appropriate research tools specifically to guide education sector policies and programmes.
As the Digital Resilience: Empowering Youth Online study found, “there is a positive correlation between exposure to risk and the ability to employ effective coping strategies, which suggests that increasing a young person’s engagement with the online world fosters higher levels of digital resilience.” It is in this light that the UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau on Education and Google Asia Pacific are co-organizing the “Conference on Digital Citizenship Education in Asia-Pacific” on 2-3 March 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Key organizations were invited to present their research findings and propose feasible action points to a multi-stakeholder audience that includes representatives from Member States, field experts, researchers, private organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.
Copyright: UNESCO Bangkok ICT Education