BT and Barclays - Digital Friends
Protecting children's curiosity online
BT has announced its ambition to help the nation become more tech literate.
The tech literacy programme is the start of a long-term commitment by BT towards inspiring kids, supporting teachers and equipping schools. While children today grow up surrounded by tech and may be confident using it, too many have no real idea how it works, so they may be great tech consumers, but they’re not truly tech literate. BT is uniquely placed to help; our technology underpins the social infrastructure of the UK. And at BT we use the power of communications to make a better world. BT has already been involved with the new computing skills curriculum being offered in schools, by helping design and deliver Barefoot, the government’s programme to train teachers in this new curriculum. BT volunteers have been in schools doing workshops with teachers and we’ve collaborated with MIT to bring coding tools into UK classrooms. BT has also committed to extend the government’s programme to another 1,000 schools so 6,000 teachers can be reached.
Tech literacy will give children the skills they need to live in a society shaped by tech, and the confidence and understanding to play their part in shaping that society. BT has set a goal to reach five million children by 2020.
BT and Barclays join up to increase digital inclusion with free Wi-fi in libraries
BT and Barclays have teamed up to provide free wi-fi and hands on digital support at libraries and community centres in deprived areas across England. The innovative community programme will see Wi-fi provided to 57 libraries and 13 community centres across the country. A further 10 sites, including a care home, a charity home and a homeless centre will also be provided with free wi-fi. Further sites will be announced at a later date.
Libraries and community centres are the heartbeat of many communities and free internet access combined with expert support will help the many people still not online. In the UK some 18 per cent of the adult population have never been online and this increases to 60 per cent for those over 65 years old. With so many opportunities from education, interacting with friends and job opportunities to government and health services all available online, it has never been more vital for people to start their digital journey.
BT Volunteers will be working with trained Barclays staff – called Barclays Digital Eagles – helping people build their confidence and develop their skills. It could be showing them how to use a tablet or laptop. Or helping them get to grips with internet banking, online shopping, and using Skype to stay in touch with friends and family.
BT and Barclays have both committed to support the implementation of the government’s digital inclusion strategy which aims to reduce the number of people offline in the UK by 25 per cent by 2016.
A child’s innocent online search can turn bad with just one click.
When it comes to the internet, we want our kids to be free to explore online, but also protected from seeing things that are inappropriate or distressing. Parents are confused about the wide range of parental controls that exist across different devices and how they work together - Internet Matters’ latest campaign aims to protect children’s curiosity.
Internet Matters has put all the information in one place to help parents protect their children. It shows how to filter inappropriate content and gives tips and tools for keeping them safe when they’re online, chatting with friends, on social media, or online gaming.
And there’s an interactive tool for parents, which has step-by-step guides to setting up parental controls on all the devices that children might use.