The CyGen team have been keen to talk to parents and children who participated in the event, to hear their views about the experience. Here, one of the UK CyGen co-researchers, Macey, and her mum, Emma, talk to Dr Michelle Pyer about their experiences.
First, Michelle asked Macey and Emma why they wanted to be involved in CyGen. Here’s what they said:
Macey: I just think it’s really nice to help other people.
Emma: I thought it would help (Macey) learn about safety online, versus just being told. It’s like anything, if you’re actually in it and participating I think you learn more, so it would make her more aware. [Macey] has never once been ‘oh no, not CyGen again’, it’s always been ‘Yes! We’re doing this in school today’. And that’s the thing though, I think that is the way to make them learn and understand, is for them to do it.
Macey and her mum also told Michelle about what they have learnt from taking part in the project. This included finding about PEGI ratings (the ratings that are used to inform children and parents about the suitability of a game for certain age groups).
Macey: I think I have learnt a little bit more. Sometimes I don’t really take as much care as I should, so I learnt about the reasons to…I’ve learnt about PEGI ratings, I didn’t know what PEGI ratings were before. We did them at school after we learnt about them in CyGen.
Emma: Before I went to the conference, and I went into the workshop where the kids talked, I have to say I’m guilty of not paying attention to stuff like that. I think you do with movies, I don’t know why Apps and computer stuff is different. It hadn’t really crossed my mind to look at it for Apps and things.
Next Macey and Emma talked about what it was like to take part in the ME event:
Macey: Probably the best bit was when we did the author workshop…We read different books and we had to write our favourite character that would help children and give the book a rating. It was a really helpful day where all the parents got told about e-safety to help keep their kids safe online.
Emma: I think the bit that I found the most interesting was seeing the kids….It was very informative in hearing about what they’ve done; obviously you’re hearing about it from the kids’ perspective… Hearing it from the kids, you actually know the kids know what’s going on and understand it. Whereas if you’ve just got an adult there telling you about it, that doesn’t mean it necessarily impacts on the kids. So to hear and see it from the kids’ perspective, to hear it from them, them teaching the parents, I think re-instils it in them.