European Safe Online Final Conference

PROGRAM

9:30 AM: Registration and log-in

10:00 AM Welcome speech and introductions – Nel Broothaerts

10:10 AMUnderstanding parents’ and children’s needs in the digital environment – Arnaud Zarbo

10:40 AM:  European SafeOnline Initiative project – Paola Rando

11:00 AMCoffee break

11:10 AM:  Empowering parents online : Strategies & Tools – Panel Discussion / Moderator: Paolo Celot / Panelists : Sabrina Vorbau, Elizabeth Gosme, Karen Linten 

12:15 PM:  Lunch Break

1:15 PM:  ESOI training demo : Social Media – Astrid Van Roy and Nadège Bastiaenen

2:00 PM:  National Safe Online Initiatives: Greece: Ourania Xylouri/ Cyprus: Charis Xinari/ Romania : Mihaela Tomita and Gabriela Grosseck Bulgaria: Danail Danov / Belgium : Véronique Grilli and Ruth De Bruycker 

3:00 PM:  The ESOI Prototype: a ready-made toolkit to adopt the SafeOnline initiative in other national contexts – Nadège Bastiaenen

3:30 PMFinal remarks – Nel Broothaerts

GOAL AND MISSION

Digital parenting involves guiding younger children to use technology safely and wisely, understanding their online activities, setting boundaries together with children and teaching them to be responsible in a positive and beneficial way. It also includes informing parents themselves about digital technology and providing them with the tools and resources they need to support children when facing risks, enhance their creativity and learning, and have fun instead.

The European Safe Online Initiative (ESOI) followed the successful Flemish practice which since 2007 organised more than 1500 training sessions for parents. With eight partners joining forces across Europe, ESOI today engages with thousands of
parents across five different countries on how they could better learn to support their children’s digital life.

To mark the end of the 3-year project, partners from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Romania will illustrate our experience and report on the methodology, the difficulties we faced and the solutions we adopted. The scope of this event and its related publications is also to offer reflections on the broad subject of digital parenting, understanding online media use by children and supporting the parents.

We, therefore, hope to inspire the adoption of our program in more countries and contribute to the debate on digital parenting and ultimately making children’s online experience safer, more meaningful and joyful. 

THE SPEAKERS

NEL BROOTHAERTS – CHILD FOCUS

She holds a Master in Pedagogical Sciences at the University of Ghent. In 2002, she was responsible for the development of an educational programme for young children in Guatemala. After her return to Belgium, she worked within the education system for children with special needs, where she was responsible for the development of pedagogical tools for teachers. Between 2005 and 2007, Nel worked within the Youth Service as a home counsellor / parenting advisor for families in problematic parenting situations. In May 2007, she joined Child Focus and as project manager was responsible for the policy and development of prevention initiatives around e-safety. In September 2013, she became coordinator of the team. In October 2017, she became Chief Prevention and Development Officer, responsible for all prevention initiatives, through tools, materials, education or training, and new developments in the Foundation. Since October 2022, she combines this position with the role of Deputy CEO of Child Focus. 

ARNAUD ZARBO – Centre NADJA asbl

He is a psychologist, psychotherapist and trainer for professionals at the ASBL Nadja (Liège, Belgium), an association specialized in addictions. He is in charge of the Nadja Center’s prevention department and trains and supervises teams facing difficulties or questioning the issue of addictions. As a specialist in problematic uses of the Internet and video games, he regularly participates in projects and research related to the media practices of young people.

PAOLA RANDO – CHILD FOCUS

She holds a Master Degree in European Studies from the University of Geneva with a specialization in European law, institutions and society. She has a strong interest in the rights of the child and has been working on the topic since 2019. Since 2021, Paola has been working at the Belgian Safer Internet Center, where she coordinates the work of different partners who create initiatives to raise awareness of the use of digital media by children and whose aim is to support professionals and educators in accompanying children online. Paola is also the coordinator of the European SafeOnline Initiative. 

PAOLO CELOT – EAVI

He the founder and secretary general of EAVI – a not-for-profit international organization active in the interrelated fields of media, education and citizenship. He is an economist and serves as a European affairs advisor in the media sector. He follows high-level international fora such as the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society at the Council of Europe, the UNESCO MIL Alliance and various Expert Groups at the European Commission. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the European Audiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg. Paolo has authored books, articles, audiovisual productions, policy papers and four different European-wide research studies covering 27 countries on media literacy and citizens-related issues. Prior to his current role, he worked with both private and public broadcasters, including advising the BBC and RAI. 

Elizabeth Gosme – COFACE Families Europe

She is mother of two girls and Director of COFACE Families Europe, a network of 50+ family organisations across 23 countries advocating for the rights of all families without discrimination through various tools: advocacy and campaigning at European Union level for strong social rights and gender- responsive family policies, building European research projects, developing practical tools to support education and training to support parents, families, children. Based on its Digitalisation principles, 2030 Child Compass, and DigiGen research, COFACE works closely with the EU institutions, Better Internet for Kids, European Schoolnet and key ICT industries to promote child rights and safety online. This is done through a whole-family lens, advocating for regulation, self- regulation and education tools to empower children and their families in the digital environment. 

SABRINA VORBAU – EUROPEAN SCHOOLNET

She is Project Manager at European Schoolnet and has been a member of its Digital Citizenship Team since 2014. She is managing a set of European Commission (EC) funded projects around online safety and media literacy. Currently these include CO:RE – Children Online: Research and Evidence, menABLE – Empower Manpower against gender-based violence online, the European Film Factory and MLCE, with the focus on media literacy education. In addition, Sabrina coordinates the BIK Youth Programme as part of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project. Sabrina also regularly represents the team in expert meetings and international conferences in the field of children’s rights and internet governance. Originally, from Germany, she holds a Master degree in Applied Economic Sciences: Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Antwerp. Prior to joining EUN, she worked at the European Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna.

Karen Linten – Mediawijs

Karen Linten is part of Mediawijs, the Flemish knowledge center for media literacy. At Mediawijs, Karen has been the coordinator of the Flemish website for (grand)parents about media parenting MediaNest.be since 2019. She is also part of the Belgian Safer Internet Centre and works daily on topics related to online chances and risks (digital balance, cyberbullying, mental health, …). As a communication scientist, Karen is interested in the effects media have on people and in how to support professionals to help children, parents, … in the best way possible.

Astrid Van Roy – Gezinsbond

She holds a Master Degree in Educational Sciences from KU Leuven University. She had been working for Gezinsbond, a family organisation in Belgium, for seven years. She is the team leader for the family support team. She has been working on the Flemish SafeOnline Initiative since 2015, contributing to the content of the training, the train-the-trainers and the overall coordination of the project.

Danail Danov – Sofia University

He teaches media studies, communications and media pedagogy at Sofia University. Over the last ten years he has designed and implemented dozens of projects both in Bulgaria and abroad, carried out within the framework of OPAC, OPHRD, MATRA Program, and EU Commission. Prior to his move to the academia in 2014, Danail Danov worked as a broadcasting journalist for various public and commercial stations. Danail Danov has published and translated numerous articles and books on various aspects of media, journalism, communications, PR, project management, training and education.

Charis Xinari – European University Cyprus

She is Associate Professor in Critical and Cultural Theory at the European University Cyprus, currently also serving as Chairperson of the Department of Humanities. Her expertise lies in the area of Gender and her research over the past few years has focused on issues of identity and “new” media as well as media literacy. She has participated, as national coordinator and project coordinator, in a number of projects funded by the European Commission (Erasmus+ KA2 and KA3, CERV) and was a member of the Scientific Committee and Co-Author of the Final report of the Forward Look in Media Studies funded by the European Science Foundation (2011-2014).

Ourania Xylouri – Athens Lifelong Learning Institute

She is a sociologist and the Founder and Director of the Athens Lifelong Learning Insitute, a research and education institute based in Athens, Greece. She designed, developed and delivered various media literacy projects in Greece and has successfully managed the implementation of large-scale media literacy programmes in the country.

 Mihaela Tomita – West University of Timisoara

She is professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology from West University of Timisoara, Romania. Her professional, academic and scientific activity is closely related to the therapeutic and educational approach of young offenders and young with substance abuse disorders, militating and promoting intervention strategies and alternative sanctions in the criminal justice system. Author and co-author of several books and articles on the field, she coordinates and participates in research and intervention projects with budgetary and European funds in child protection, probation system, resilience of professionals, victims and offenders, digital and open education for criminal justice system etc. She is member of the International Association for the Promotion and Dissemination of Resilience Research (RESILIO) and European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW).

 Gabriela Grosseck – West University of Timisoara

She is associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the West University of Timisoara, Romania. She has particular expertise in ICT in education, a solid experience in students’/teachers’ training both f2f and online environments. For almost a decade she was an editor-in-chief of Romanian Journal of Social Informatics. An author of many articles in the field of e-learning 2.0, a speaker at different international events, workshop organizer and member of editorial committees (journals and conferences), European or national projects coordinator, her research interests cover main aspects of
digital and media literacy, open education (OERs/OEPs and MOOCs), Web 2.0 tools and technologies in higher education, collaborative aspects and proper use of social media (by teachers, students, researchers, policy makers and other educational actors) and digital storytelling.

 Ruth De Bruycker – Child Focus

She holds a Masters in linguistics from the University of Paris and Ghent. She started as account executive in several international communication agencies, and then evolved to account manager in the environmental sector, where she assisted the main producers to reach the legal recycling goals of their packaging waste. Currently, she holds the position of project manager prevention & development at Child Focus, where she focuses on the B2B-activation projects and manages Webetic, the Wallonia SafeOnline Initiative.

Furthermore, she give training to police and prevention officers about our prevention vision on e-safety for minors. 

Véronique Grilli – Ligue des Familles

She holds a degree in Public Relations and Communication. Véronique has a strong interest in new technologies and social networks. Since 2017, she coordinates the Webetic project at the Ligue des familles, a family organisation in Wallonia, and develops the project with the support of Child Focus in order to offer this media education project to a maximum of parents in Wallonia.

Nadège Bastiaenen – Child Focus

Nadège holds a master’s degree in social communication sciences from the Institute of Social Communication Sciences (IHECS) in Brussels, as well as a postgraduate degree in European politics (University of Brussels) and a teaching diploma in communication, social sciences in secondary education. In 2008, she joined Child Focus at the Awareness Centre as e-safety project manager to develop actions for a safer internet. She is specialised in education and pedagogy including training of trainers and coaching programmes for professionals. Nadège is currently the coordinator of the Prevention & Development department of Child Focus, which develops all the educational material and organises all the training modules offered by Child Focus.  

Who are we?

Child Focus | Gezinsbond | La Ligue des Familles | Athens Lifelong Learning Institute | Universitatea de Vest Timisoara -UVT | University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski” | European University Cyprus | EAVI European Association for Viewers Interests

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