As Turk.Internet, we interviewed with INSAFE coordinator Janice Richardson. Mrs. Richardson has worked in Brussels at European Schoolnet, an umbrella organisation that works with teachers and pupils to improve learning strategies through the integration of online technology. As eSafety Adviser, she coordinates the Insafe network, set up and mandated by the European Commission to raise internet safety awareness across Europe. You can find our interview both in text and video formats below.
Turk Internet: Hello Mrs. Richardson. We are here in Istanbul, Turkey for cyber internet conference. First of all, could you introduce yourself to us please?
Janice Richardson: Yes, certainly. I am Janice Richardson, senior adviser at European Schoolnet, which is a consortium of Education Ministries and which also includes Turkey by the way. I am the coordinator of the in safe network, which was set up by the European Commission in 2004 and this network was made up at the center of each 27 countries across Europe. It sure will be in 30 countries across Europe that is to say the entire Europe member states plus Iceland, Norway the Russian Federation.
Turk Internet: We would like to learn if there is any organization that is a member to this organization or any application for a membership right now?
Janice Richardson: Unfortunately, this is a closed network as such and the condition to entry is being within the safer internet program of the European Commission. And therefore, submitting a project and receiving a grant agreement with the Commission as therefore funding from European Commission. That said, we work very closely with many organizations across the world and most of this is in relation to safe internet day. Every country has the right to set up the safer internet day committee on condition that this committee has the support of the national government, either minister of communications, education, youth or whatever.
Turk Internet: I would like to learn what do you think about this conference and about Turkey in this manner?
Janice Richardson: This is the most interesting for me. I think you have given a very broad view of what is going on in Turkey, where you are right now. It has been a beautifiuly organized conference and I really congragulate you for the very high level of speakers. That’s it, I do think there is one Ministry really missing in this dialogue and it is the education Ministry. What we are talking about is communications certainly, but it’s also very much about the education of young people and of course education of older people.
Turk Internet: I see. Could you say anything to the families or schools in Turkey as an advice from your Europe experiences?
Janice Richardson: Yes there is something that I would very much like to say to families first of all because the family is the key player in young persons’ education. And yet families are speaking less and less about serious topics and leaving the young people in front of the screen.
So I’d say first of all there is very much role for the whole family to play to talk about these serious issues and to work out solutions together.
But I think secondly we are doing wrong think by disenfranchising families by telling them this is about technology and children are way ahead in technology. No, this is not about technology. This is about a new form of media and the families have a very big role to play because it is about behavior in this form of new media.
And therefore it’s all about families because this is where we learn our behavior patterns. It is also about families knowing how to set parameters. Parents don’t know how television is created, they don’t know the technology behind it and yet parents don’t hesitate to give rules like “one hour of television per day or you can only watch certain programs”. And I really don’t understand why are not giving exactly the same sort of rules for Internet, it’s the same thing.
Turk Internet: Thank you Mrs. Richardson.
Janice Richardson: Thank you.
Find the Turkish translation of this interview at Richardson : Gvenli nternet Gnnde Milli Eitim Bakanl da Bulunmalyd link.