Web Rangers SA’s training workshops started on a high note on 12 May 2018 at McAuley House Johannesburg. The digital literacy programme implemented by Media Monitoring Africa and supported by various partners aims to empower young people to gain critical skills and knowledge around online safety.
This year Web Rangers has recruited a total of 200 young people from various schools in Gauteng and will also pilot the programme in Cape Town by recruiting 50 pupils from the I-CAN Centre – a public access facility in the city.
According to the Web Rangers coordinator Phakamile Khumalo, the theme for this year is centred on using the internet to create a better South Africa. “Being a Web Ranger ambassador is not only about being informed about online safety. We hope the Web Rangers will continue to work towards a national call to action to ensure that young people take charge of their knowledge and extend it to other young people so they too can realise the potential of the internet when used responsibly.”
Following the training workshops, the group will use their new skills and knowledge to create innovative campaigns that promote safe internet usage and champion their rights in the digital world. The programme has partnered with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Google SA, Facebook, the Film Publication Board (FPB), MTN, PPM Attorneys and Digital You.
The first training workshop educated 130 pupils (between the ages of 13 to 17) from the Johannesburg group as part of a series of workshops to follow in the coming weeks. The group learnt about the benefits of the internet as well as protection from cyber-ills such as sexting, online grooming, cyber bulling etc.
“Parents need to think about their child’s safety online as well as offline” said the McCauley House Web Rangers team.
The children were then broken into groups where they used the knowledge they had gained during the workshop to prepare a performance to illustrate the different themes to their peers Two groups were awarded for best performance and received prices.
Web Rangers will finalise their initial workshops on 2 June. The learners will then commence working on their campaigns, with winners announces in August.
For questions comments and more details contact:
Web Rangers Project coordinator
Celebrate Safer Internet Day with MMA, Facebook, FPB, Google and partners
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and partners invite media to celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID) on Tuesday, 06 February 2018 at Facebook in Johannesburg. SID aims to, “raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.”
Join us as we hear from children as well as representatives from leaders in the digital space such as Facebook on how South Africa can keep its children safe and in line with this year’s SID theme “Create, connect and share respect”.
On the day, MMA will also launch its 2018 Web Rangers programme, which bring together civil society, children, educators, government and the private sector to promote online safety and positive use of the internet. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has partnered with Google, Film and Publications Board (FPB), Facebook, PPM Attorneys, MTN & Digital You on this unique programme where young people are champions of online safety and use their skills to make the world a better place through innovative campaigns.
Selected schools from Johannesburg will participate in the celebrations by taking part in a range of activities aimed at highlighting digital safety.
This event is by RSVP ONLY. Contact details are provided below:
2018 Safer Internet Day Celebrations
Date: Tuesday, 06 February 2018.
Venue: Facebook, Johannesburg (Details by RSVP)
Time: 10:00 – 14:00
To make a reservation please contact:
Head of Children’s Programme
Web Rangers Coordinator
Media Monitoring Africa
Tel: +2711 788 1278
As part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children(25 November 2017 – 10 December 2017), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and Lead SA will launch a series of Instagram stories created by Web Rangers to highlight the abuse and violence faced by young people online.
Web Rangers is a digital literacy programme comprised of children aged between 12 – 17 who champion issues of digital safety amongst their peers and through digital campaigns. These are centred on spreading awareness around protection from cyber-ills and positive use of the internet amongst others.
As we all know, the internet & various social media platforms present many opportunities such as accessibility of information for all and have the potential to act as a platform for voicing one’s opinion, learning and addressing inequality. The sad reality is that with great potential comes great risk and especially for children.
The dark side of the internet and social media is that it is less explicit, covert, harder to distinguish and can take place any minute. Every time a young person goes on Facebook or WhatsApp, they face the risk of being cyber-bullied or being exposed to sexual and inappropriate content which inhibits them from taking full advantage of the internet to better their lives and those of others.
This year, the Web Rangers will raise their voices on Instagram and harness the potential of positive digital influence to spread awareness about what young people can do to protect themselves against cyberbullying, grooming, sexting etc.
Phakamile Khumalo, Web Rangers Programme Coordinator in South Africa says, “This initiative works to educate youth about how to protect themselves from online violence, in a way that involves meaningful children’s participation and empowers them to act to stop the cycle of online abuse.”
Under the theme of #16PLUS, the Web Rangers have developed 16 stories – each to be released every day of the 16 Days of Activism.
The #16PLUS theme also encourages other young people to tell their stories and share their tips to help their peers stay safe even beyond the 16 Days campaign.
For enquiries contact:
Web Rangers Coordinator (MMA)
Or Ayabulela Poro
Head of Children’s Programme (MMA)
011 788 1278 or e-mail email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Web Rangers Award Ceremony – the campaign winners are announced!
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is proud to announce Khutlo-Tharo Secondary School and Park Senior Primary as the overall winners of the 2017 Web Rangers Digital Literacy Campaign competition in the high school and primary school categories. MMA made the announcement during an awards ceremony held at The Pyramid Conference and Venue Centre in Johannesburg on 23 September 2017.
Web Rangers is an international programme implemented in various countries such as New Zealand, India and Kenya. In South Africa, the initiative is led by MMA in South Africa together with local partners, Google SA, Facebook, the Film Publication Board (FPB), MTN, PPM Attorneys and Digital You.
Web Rangers encourages young people to champion safer internet behaviours within their schools and communities through the creation of innovative campaigns that promote their rights and active participation in the digital world.
This year 160 children were recruited from 16 schools in Johannesburg and trained on how to navigate and take advantage of the digital space. According to the Web Rangers Project coordinator, the theme for this year was centred on using the internet to create a better South Africa. “Being a Web Ranger ambassador is not only about being informed about online safety. We hope the Web Rangers will continue to work towards a national call to action to ensure that young people take charge of their knowledge and extend it to other younger people so they too can realise the potential of the internet when used responsibly.”
The Web Rangers campaigns submitted for this year’s competition was adjudicated by a panel of judges including social media experts and children from MMA’s Children’s News Agency. According to Khumalo, both of the overall winning campaigns scored highly in terms of clear objectives, social impact and engaging content. “The campaigns showed a combination of technical skills and innovative and thinking in the execution of the campaign.”
Madibane Comprehensive High School came second and Thaba Jabula Secondary School’s campaign was awarded the third prize winner in the high school category. Both schools are based in Soweto. Parkhurst Primary was named runner-up in the Primary School Category.
Director at MMA, William Bird congratulated the winners, “not only have the winners shown great commitment to online safety and making SA a better place, they have also shone a bright light on the skills of our young people. Giving us hope for our future.”
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed by Niantic. It was released in July 2016. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices.
An American teen found a dead body while playing the game and another group of teens were robbed by armed assailants while playing. Due to the nature of the game, i.e. that it is played outside it is important to consider your physical safety while playing the game. While these cases may sound extreme, there are also the dangers of ‘distracted walking’ which can put you at risk of injury or worse.
Obviously it is important to remain aware of your surroundings while playing. Don’t go to unfamiliar places alone. Tell a trusted adult that you’re playing and where you are going. Remember, your safety is not worth a Pokémon, no matter how rare.
For further reading:
Online and data safety
The game, like many apps requires permissions to access other data on your device. It requests permission for full access to a users’ Google account when you sign up to play.
There have been concerns raised over what data the app can access and how to prevent it from doing so. Because of the extensive permissions required to play an AR game, you may want to double check your privacy settings in the game and perhaps even consider what devices you use to play.
See the following for more information:
Nondumiso Shange and Keenan Adams, START PACKING THOSE BAGS! YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO San Francisco!
Congratulations! You have been selected to represent the 2016 South African Web Rangers at the Google Global Summit taking place in USA, Mountain View San Francisco. You TWO have been chosen because of the outstanding leadership potential you have demonstrated in the written motivation given to us as part of the competition. The International Web Rangers Summit will take place on 30 September 2016.You will traveling from the 29 September 2016 and returning on the 01 October 2016. With the gracious financial support of Google, this is offered to you as a fully paid for trip including flights, accommodation and all meals while in San Francisco. During the trip, you will join other Web Rangers from across the world to enjoy a unique learning experience.
The Google Global Summit took place on 30 September 2016. Here is an update on all the exciting things that happened:
Web Rangers arrived at the Google offices in California to meet other Web Rangers from 14 countries across the world. The day was filled with excitement as Web Rangers got to interact with each other and discuss issues of Digital Literacy from across the world, drawing from each country’s experiences!
The day started with an awesome intro by the Vice President of Global Policy at Google, Caroline Alkinson. She spoke about the importance of digital literacy in the 21st century and the role that Web Rangers play in bringing awareness around issues of internet safety.
The panel and question and answer by student voice: Merit Jones, director of Partnerships, Andrew Brennen, national field director, Mohammed Mduko, student voice. The discussion highlighted the different of using the internet to be the voice of change among the youth globally. The discussion is facilitated by Anne Collier, founder of iCanhelpline.org and Executive Director, The Net Safety Collaborative.
Storytelling session: Web Rangers tell their inspiring journeys as digital literacy ambassadors!
The Web Rangers ended the day with a mini tour at the Google offices!
Children from Park Senior, McCauley House and Kenilworth schools took part in various activities on Safer Internet Day, 9 Feb 2016. One of the activities was to design a concept that would become the Web Rangers South Africa logo.
Each group produced amazing pieces of art that our designers turned into the Web Rangers logo you see below. It was exciting and encouraging to see the innovation and creativity shown by these young people and if this is an indication of things to come from the Web Rangers, we can look forward to seeing some very innovative campaigns from the South African programme.
To celebrate the 2016 Safer Internet Day, MMA together with programme partners successfully launched and piloted the Web Rangers programme in South Africa, with the aim to promote online safety, digital literacy and cyber-security for 150 young people in 13 schools around Gauteng.
Web Rangers unpacked
The potential of the internet is endless and presents many opportunities for interactions and communication that transcends both time and space. It also allows for a platform for children to be informed and voice their opinions on issues that affect them, provides room for learning and addressing inequality, creates an opportunity for enormous creativity to spread!
However, the internet poses some real dangers, especially for young people….. these include
Cyber bullying, sexual and emotional abuse online are some of the risks faced by young people in the country EVERY TIME they access the internet WHICH may inhibit them from taking full advantage of the internet to better their lives and that of others!
Web Rangers is the solution to the many ills faced by young people! to the development of digital literacy and digital citizenship skills. Web Rangers is a digital literacy programme that focuses on the participation of children who will champion the right to access the internet and online safety.
Below are quotes from programme partners talking about the importance of online safety!
“The safety of children is of utmost importance especially with the growth of digital technology. As an organisation, the FPB also seeks to protect children from exposure to harmful materials,” says FPB spokesperson Janine Raftopoulos.
“In South Africa, we know that rangers traditionally guard parks and other areas of natural beauty. At Google, we also want to recognise modern day rangers – we call them Web Rangers – and their aim instead will be to keep the Internet safe for themselves and other young users,” says Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Public Policy for Google South Africa.