Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Education: German and Korean internet education initiatives win UNESCO prize

UN - 12 November 2012 – Two digital projects from Germany and the Republic of Korea will be awarded $50,000 in prize money for work done in merging education with information and communications technology (ICT), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today.

According to a news release, UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, will present the two laureates – Germany’s Internet ABC Project and the Republic of Korea’s InfollutionZERO – with their 2011 UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize at a ceremony on 20 November at the agency’s headquarters in Paris.

The annual prize, instituted in 2005, is funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain and is awarded to individuals, institutions or non-governmental organizations for their excellent ICT use in enhancing learning, teaching and overall educational performance. In this year’s edition, the winning projects were selected from a field of 51 entrants from 39 countries.

Responding to the set theme of ‘Educating youth for responsible global digital citizenship,’ both projects are being rewarded for their work in increasing young people’s awareness of safe internet navigation and addressing the growing concerns surrounding online bullying and harassment.

Germany’s Internet ABC Project provides young internet users with advertisement-free access of more than one million web pages, limiting children’s exposure to the potentially harmful aspects of internet usage. The initiative also provides high quality educational materials for the classroom and a cross-cultural model which is already in use in Turkey, as well as numerous other countries.

Similarly, InfollutionZERO targets the unsafe digital ‘pollutants’ which can make internet navigation harmful for children and vulnerable to cyberbullies and cyberpredators by introducing a game-based, narrative approach to educate children about the impacts of cyber-risks, or ‘infollution.’

The prize will be equally divided between this year’s two winners.