(File pix) DQWorld.net is an online platform aimed at helping children combat their exposure to dangers such as radicalisation, fake news, online grooming and cyber-bullying.

KUALA LUMPUR: Children will be able to measure their ability and command of digital media now with a new online platform called DQWorld.net.

The platform is aimed at helping children combat their exposure to dangers such as radicalisation, fake news, online grooming and cyber-bullying through an online assessment.

Youngsters can score themselves against a range of criteria.

The online platform is part of the #DQEveryChild™ movement, a new global alliance which is targeted to help increase young people’s digital intelligence quotient (DQ) and keep children safe as they navigate the digital world.

DQWorld.net was launched at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, today.

DQ Institute, in a statement, explained that DQ is the ability to use digital technology and media in safe, responsible and effective ways.

In the same way as IQ and EQ measure general and emotional intelligence, DQ measures a person’s ability and command of digital media, it said.

#DQEveryChild™ movement founder Dr Yuhyun Park said in the hyper-connected world today, children as young as eight years old critically need DQ to be a smart and responsible user of technology.

“These children are the first generation born and raised in a digital world, and they need to learn digital skills for the future.

“But they are often exposed to various cyber dangers, such as cyber-bullying, fake news, online grooming and radicalisation, and are left alone to navigate the negative side effects of technology.

“Children need help to navigate this landscape safely. Just like we need a driving license before we can drive on the roads, children need digital education before they start using digital media and technology,” he said.

Varkey Foundation chief executive Vikas Pota said increasing a child’s DQ score reduce the risks associated with digital technology. It also maximises personal strengths such as higher empathy and global citizenship, and raises their academic performance and future opportunity.

“With the theme of this year’s GESF being global citizenship, it’s fitting that the launch of #DQEveryChild™ is taking place at the forum.”

World Economic Forum, head of Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment Claudio Cocorocchia said their recent research showed that the world needs higher levels of digital intelligence, which would benefit both the private and public sector, and the society.

“We will be assisting the DQ Institute by providing access to our regional and annual meetings, our network of experts and multi-stakeholder community members, and our digital platform.”

Singtel Group Corporate Social Responsibility vice president Andrew Buay said technology helps to connect people but it also exposes them to online perils such as inappropriate content, gaming addiction and cyber bullying.

This is becoming more prevalent with young children, hence, it is important to educate them early, he said.

“We have been involved with the development and implementation of #DQEveryChild™ as we believe it’s a valuable way to educate our young people so that they have the social, emotional and cognitive abilities to handle the demands and challenges in the digital space.”

Statistics show that at nine years old, over half (52 per cent) of children already have their own mobile device – either tablet, PC or phone. By age 12, this increases to 70 per cent.

DQ Institute said focusing on DQ has been identified as an impactful and effective method for improving digital citizenship by the World Economic Forum.

It said more than a dozen countries had pledged their support for the movement in 2017, including Argentina, India, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Other members include the World Economic Forum, Singtel, the Varkey Foundation, Google, and LG U+.

#DQEveryChild™, it said, is a combination of online education tools and real-time assessment which is free to every child globally, and can be easily ‘plugged and played’ into any national or school curriculum via the DQWorld.net platform.

The curriculum of 20 lessons over 15 hours is delivered through story-telling and gamified design, which makes learning interactive and fun and encourages a positive attitudinal shift and behaviour. At the end of each lesson, children take an online real-time assessment that will provide DQ scores for each of the skills acquired.

Children are ‘scored’ against a range of criteria – such as sharing personal data; meeting online strangers; online sexual behaviours; exposure to violent content; cyberbullying and game addiction – with the average DQ score for each set at 100.

A pilot programme was undertaken last year in Singapore involving more than 2,200 children aged 9-12 years old, to understand the efficacy and impact of the online program in enhancing the children’s DQ skills and in changing their attitudes and behaviour against cyber risks.

The study showed that the programme improved children’s DQ score, on average, by 14 per cent minimising the impact of risky behaviours online and maximising their personal strengths.

For more information visit https://www.dqinstitute.org/start-dq/.

#DQEveryChild™ aims to reach 20 million children aged between eight and 12 by 2020.

GESF 2017, a Varkey Foundation initiative, is held at The Atlantis, Dubai, on March 18 and March 19 with leading figures from public, private and social sectors in attendance.

The fifth annual GESF, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, focuses on the theme of “How to make real global citizens”.

Widely referred to as ‘the Davos of Education’, the GESF debates new ways for education to transform our world, with the event culminating in the announcement of the winner of the US$1million (RM4.4 million) Global Teacher Prize 2017.

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