eduPad launches not for profit "The School of Social Networks" project with Google and European Schoolnet
We’re in Brussels today with our partner European Schoolnet to announce that we will work with Google Europe and Google.org to help make the internet safer for everyone. We want to make sure that every child can feel safe and secure online and especially when accessing a social network.
The School of Social Networks (“SOSN“) project will involve the development of a Mooc for teachers and of a set of interactive chatbots for children between 6 and 10. This project will start with a 3 years period and be progressively opened to and deployed in partner European countries (to be selected in 2020).
We’re excited and proud to be chosen as one of the 29 grantees of the Google.org Impact Challenge to help make the internet safer for everyone. With this grant and support of Google Europe, we plan to fill a void in the education of children which has potential devastating long-term consequences on our societies.
The absence of the educational sphere, including the family and the institution, in the discovery by the children of the social networks at a very early age exposes a majority of children to major risks, from violence to cyberbullying and pornography to name a few. These risks can have deep consequences on the building of the child’s personality, mental balance, and future behavior as a citizen.
The School of Social Networks project, aims at educating children in elementary school how to use social networks safely and responsibly by practicing with chatbots in safe environments with pedagogical objectives. The Project will be opened to teachers and parents, and used by teachers, parents and children/students.
The Project aims to fill a void in the education of children. The laws prohibiting access to children to social networks under the age of 13 to 17 depending upon the country without the control and acceptance of their parents do not match the real-life usage of children. Studies show that many children have access to and are engaged in several social networks at a much younger age without any parental control, sometimes as early as at the age of 7 or 8.
The Project’s mission is to offer pedagogical solutions to make sure children have received an appropriate training on the usage of these networks and that their parents and teachers have access to the pedagogical material to address the subject.
Through European Schoolnet’s network of Ministries of Education, European countries will progressively have access to the Project’s deliverables, which may eventually impact the 26M European children in elementary school.
After assessment of the Project’s impact, the Project’s production (source code and content) will be released publicly under appropriate open source licenses.
Founded in 2011, eduPad is an educational apps publisher, whose apps are used by 10M children in 146 countries. With Monster Messenger, a safe social network for children between 6 and 10 launched in 2016 and which joined forces with Facebook Messenger Kids in 2019, eduPad acquired a unique experience of children’s expectations and behaviors on social networks.
About European Schoolnet
Founded in 1997, European Schoolnet is the network of 34 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organization, European Schoolnet aims to bring innovation in teaching and learning to its stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, and researchers.
Children trained through the Project will be aware of the risks of social networks and have a healthier and safer usage of these networks.
Since 2005, Google.org has worked to extend the reach of nonprofit innovators and connect them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, tools, and volunteers from around Google. These innovators are the believers-turned-doers who have made the biggest impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change that can scale. Though each nonprofit’s project poses a fresh challenge, we ask the same question every time: “How can we bring the best of Google to power their work and accelerate their progress?”