The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will present the 2011 UNESCO-King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education to two winners: Internet ABC Project (Germany), represented by Jochen Fasco; Yuhyun Park, Co-founder and CEO of InfollutionZERO (Republic of Korea) at UNESCO Headquarters on 20 November.
UNESCO chose the theme of “Educating Youth for Responsible Global Digital Citizenship,” for the 2011 Prize, so as to link the right to quality education to shared ideals and values of coexistence, equality, peace and tolerance. The theme marks a change in focus brought about by the arrival of a new generation of learners—sometimes referred to as “digital natives”—who have grown up in a world saturated with information networks; a shift from technology training to broad issues such as responsibility, ethics, credibility of sources and creativity.
The theme is also intended to increase young people’s awareness of how to use the internet safely and protect their rights in cyberspace. It reflects growing concern for issues such as privacy, the impact of pernicious material, and protection from cyber bullying and harassment.
The US $50,000 annual Prize is to be divided equally between the two prizewinners:
Internet ABC Project promotes the use of technologies by children and adults through advertisement-free content of more than one million pages. Attractive and engaging animations for children aged five to twelve are designed to reinforce their knowledge of safe Internet use. The site also features an interactive discussion and opinion platform to help users develop a sense of responsibility on the Internet and build up content and knowledge. Internet ABC furthermore provides high quality educational materials for the classroom and a scalable, cross-cultural model that has been extended to Turkey and is applied to other countries as well.
Dr. Yuhyun Park, Co-founder and CEO of InfollutionZERO is rewarded for her leadership and initiative with InfollutionZero project promoting digital citizenship for children, youth and parents. InfollutionZero addresses the challenges of “infollution”—the harmful effects of unsafe digital “pollutants”—including cyberspace predators, bullies, abusive language, and technology addiction. The project features a highly engaging game-based, narrative approach that uses a fictional story-line to help children learn the meaning of cyber-risks through animated characters; an exhibit designed to increase awareness of “infollution”; and original research on virtual violence that adds to the understanding of “infollution,” and offers ways to ward off its negative impact.
The winners were selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the recommendation of an international jury which examined 51 project submissions from 39 countries. Funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize rewards individuals, institutions, or non-governmental organizations for projects and activities that demonstrate best practices and creative use of information and communication technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance.
Journalists wishing to cover the ceremony should request accreditation from UNESCO’s Press Service: Isabelle Le Founis, firstname.lastname@example.org