The last week of July belonged to the Košice IT Valley Summer Academy of Children from Luník IX. Together with the civic association ETP Slovakia, we have prepared a full-fledged program for children and youth aged 11 to 21. The goal was to improve their digital skills and raise awareness of the pitfalls we face the online world. Thanks to the partner UVP Technicom, even on hot days, children were able to study in pleasant spaces.
“It is not possible to talk about the prosperity of the region unless some communities are excluded, not least because they do not have the necessary skills. The Roma community is an integral part of our society and therefore we are very pleased to be able to provide children from Luník IX with these workshops aimed at developing their digital skills, critical thinking, or presentation skills. The time spent with these children was enriching for us as well, ”says Miriama Hučková, Executive Director of Košice IT Valley.
Children and young people experienced an afternoon full of interactive lectures at the Technicom University Science Park. The project manager of Košice IT Valley, Viktor Mitruk, talked about how social networks were created and how to move from using a smartphone to its meaningful use for children. For example, even such an easily “scrollable” Instagram can serve as a handy teaching aid or a tool for gaining valuable information.
Where are the boundaries of decency in the apparent anonymity of social networks, we discussed in a discussion lecture with Lívia Gaľová, a communication specialist from Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions Slovakia: “Just as words can hurt in real life, and many leave a conversation with tears, so it is in the virtual world. It is important to point out that hateful comments do not belong in any world. At the same time, we want to show them how they should react to them and how to help the person to whom they were addressed.”
During the lectures, the participants were alerted to the pitfalls of the online world which movement on the Internet brings with it. Pavel Sokol, the head of the team for solving computer security incidents at UPJŠ (CSIRT-UPJS) and an assistant professor at the Institute of Informatics, Faculty of Science, UPJŠ, managed to attract children with an interactive quiz. It focused on the ability to distinguish between real and fraudulent reports or information. We tried to create the most robust passwords and why it is actually necessary.
We ended the week with an informal discussion with the “hacker”, UI and UX designer Matej Lukáč, CEO of Nolimit DEVELOPERS: “We talked to the children about the problems that come with online space. We found that they have a number of profiles on Facebook on which they have created average passwords and have a mess in them.” Together, they also focused on real cases of hacking from practice. “Last year, the perpetrators misused the stolen identity. They forged a passport and tried to mediate a million-dollar loan in fake e-banking, ” adds Matej to the case study he presented to the children.
As a part of the Cyber Interreg project, we are happy to organize such activities. We believe that it is vital to educate kids on cybersecurity from an early age. We perceive the importance of strengthening digital skills not only for Roma children but for young people in general. These are the key to further employment. Therefore, in the next school year, we will start several activities in our member schools. #staytuned 😃