Digital Child focuses in on making a better internet for children on Safer Internet Day

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child is encouraging families to find out how they can best support children’s wellbeing and safety online for Safer Internet Day 2024

Safer Internet Day is a global initiative that raises awareness of online safety issues. Our Centre partner organisation – the eSafety Commissioner – leads Safer Internet Day in Australia, providing resources about online safety risks and guidance on how to be safe online. 

Digital Child Director Distinguished Professor Susan Danby said that the internet is changing childhood as we know it. 

“Research on important issues associated with children’s use of the internet is vital because of the increasingly central role of the online world in children’s digital lives.” 

“Our research focuses on the health, education, and social connectedness of children with the aim of  delivering evidence-based resources to support parents and carers, educators, and other important stakeholders.” 

A safer internet requires a better Children’s Internet. The recently published Manifesto for a Better Children’s Internet provides a guide for creating an internet more suitable for children by highlighting actionable principles to guide developers, government, families, and community.  

Chief Investigator Professor Michael Dezuanni said, “There is a lot we can do to create a better Children’s Internet, ultimately leading to a safer and more fulfilling online experience for children.” 

“In the Manifesto, we  outline 17 principles for a better Children’s Internet, to be actioned by technology companies, politicians and policy makers, parents, educators, and children themselves.” 

Another meaningful way that we can make the internet safer is to provide impactful eSafety education in Australian primary school and early education settings. Our researchers recently worked with partners to implement a digital citizenship curriculum from the United States in fifteen Australian schools and one early education centre. 

Research fellow Dr Kristy Corser said, “Supporting educators with time and resources for digital citizenship education in primary school and early childhood settings is fundamental in promoting a safer digital experience for everyone.”

The Digital Child’s purpose is to provide evidence-based resources on children and digital technologies that help secure positive outcomes for children. Below we include a list of additional resources from our Centre research that can help make the online environment a better, safer place for children. 

Resources for Safer Internet Day

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Our researchers and partners produce regular blog posts and research outputs focused on children and digital technology.