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Children and young people are among the most avid users of mobile technologies, which can have a tremendous positive impact on their lives. Like any tool, however, mobile technologies can be used to cause harm, and parents, governments and industry have a role in protecting and supporting children who are connected. This course looks at the issue from several angles, including cultural differences regarding children’s use of mobile devices, child online protection and whether regulation is necessary.

This seven-week online course is offered by the GSMA’s Capacity Building in Mobile Sector Regulation initiative, in cooperation with DiploFoundation. The course is aimed primarily at staff and management of national telecommunications regulatory authorities. Participation in this course is fully funded by the GSMA.

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Open for applications: No
Application deadline: TBA
Start date: TBA
Mode(s) of study: Certificate

Lecturers

Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila

Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila is DiploFoundation's Digital Policy Director, and the Editor of the GIP Digital Watch observatory. She holds a Doctorate in Law (LL.D.), a Master's in Contempo...

Course details

Children and young people are among the most avid users of mobile technologies, which can have a tremendous positive impact on their lives. Like any tool, however, mobile technologies can be used to cause harm, and parents, governments and industry have a role in protecting and supporting children who are connected. This course looks at the issue from several angles, including cultural differences regarding children’s use of mobile devices, child online protection and whether regulation is necessary.

This seven-week online course is offered by the GSMA’s Capacity Building in Mobile Sector Regulation initiative, in cooperation with DiploFoundation. The course is aimed primarily at staff and management of national telecommunications regulatory authorities. Participation in this course is fully funded by the GSMA.

 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the rights of the child and explain how ICTs can both support these rights, and put them at risk.
  • Describe what is known about children’s use of mobile technologies.
  • Explain the benefits and the risks of mobile technology for children, and propose how to mitigate the risks of mobile technology for children.
  • Argue in favour of the promotion of safe and responsible digital citizenship.
  • Explain the role of regulation and legislation in child online protection.
  • Explain the role of the Internet in child online sexual exploitation, and describe approaches and solutions to combatting child online sexual exploitation.
  • Describe and assess the current environment for child online protection in their own countries.
  • Propose elements for a high-level action plan for child online protection in their countries based on good practices presented during the course.

In addition to individual learning outcomes, the course will support networking and the sharing of good practices between staff of telecommunications regulatory authorities in different countries. 
 

Course Outline

Following an orientation week, the course covers the following topics.

  1. Children in the digital age: Mapping the field; understanding children’s use of technology (age of access, use of smart phones and tablets, trends in social media use, worldwide issues with local nuances); the relevance of research to policy-making.
  2. Rights, opportunities, and risks: Children’s rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its applicability to the online world; opportunities for children; risks for children and young people; mitigating the risks.
  3. Policies, roles, and responsibilities: Child online protection policy (legislative measures, self- and co-regulatory measures, technical measures, awareness raising and education, taking it global); roles and responsibilities: a multistakeholder approach (children and young people, parents and guardians, educators, industry, civil society, governments and law enforcement).
  4. Online child sexual abuse: The role of the Internet, and risky behaviour; child sexual abuse material (terminology; the nature of the crime; finding and removing child sexual abuse content).
  5. Combatting online child sexual abuse: Key stakeholders (governments, law enforcement agencies, hotlines, industry, international and local NGOs, United Nations and other international organisations); legislative frameworks; techical and process-based measures (reporting mechanisms, other technical solutions, collaboration between law enforcement and industry); victim support.
  6. Formulating a national strategy for child online safely: Guidelines for stakeholders; guidelines for policy-makers; a balanced approach; course review and wrap-up.

This course is aimed primarily at staff and management of national telecommunications regulatory authorities (NRA) at all stages in their careers. Priority will be given to applicants from developing countries.

Applications from professionals working in other institutions or fields relevant to child online protection will be considered if places remain in the course session.

This course combines the GSMA’s expertise on children and mobile technology with DiploFoundation’s highly interactive online learning methodology. The course is conducted entirely online over a period of seven weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. The course tutor, guest experts, and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text. During the week, participants also complete short quizzes which support understanding and retention of knowledge. At the end of the week, participants, the course tutor, and guest experts meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled chat session times may not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants may need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.

During the final course week, participants will complete a practical written assignment designed to help them apply course topics to their own context.

This course requires a minimum of five to six hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully.

Participants who complete all course requirements successfully will receive an electronic certificate issued by the GSMA and DiploFoundation.

Applicants must have:

  • At least one year working experience at the national telecommunications regulatory authority (NRA) (or other relevant institution or organisation) with preference given to applicants from developing countries.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language to undertake reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and writing short texts.
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).
  • Sufficient time for online study, which requires five to six hours per week.

Participation in this course is fully funded by the GSMA. There is no tuition fee for selected applicants.

The deadline to apply for the February 2016 session of this course has passed. Please check back soon or sign up for our courses mailing list for more information on upcoming sessions.

Please upload a motivation statement with your application (maximum 250 words) indicating:

  • Key details of your relevant professional and educational background, including your personal objectives and plans for the future.
  • Reasons for your interest in this course.
  • Why you feel you should be selected to participate in this course: how your participation will benefit you, your institution and/or your country.

Late applications will be considered only if places remain in the course. In case of enquiries, please contact us at admissions@diplomacy.edu

 
Selection process

Representatives from GSMA and DiploFoundation will select a maximum of 25 participants to attend this course. Preference will be given to applicants from developing countries. Selected applicants will be notified after the application deadline.

Contact admissions

DiploFoundation (attn Tanja Nikolic)

Anutruf, Ground Floor
Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta
Tel: +356 21 333 323; Fax: +356 21 315 574
admissions@diplomacy.edu

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