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BBC launches ‘digital wellbeing’ Own It app for children

Sample Own It screenshot
Image caption The app will supply recommendation alongside the textual content and messages children sort

The BBC has created a “wellbeing” smartphone app known as Own It geared toward children.

It displays how younger individuals work together with family and friends on-line and thru messaging apps.

It makes use of AI to judge a baby’s temper so it will possibly supply recommendation or encourage them to speak to trusted adults.

The app is designed to supply assist and assist particularly if children are about to share delicate knowledge or ship an upsetting message.

“The digital world is a fantastic place for people to learn and share, but we know many young people struggle to find a healthy online balance, especially when they get their first phones,” mentioned Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, in a press release.

Ms Webb mentioned the app would act as a “helping hand” to information children into growing good habits when utilizing their first telephone and keep away from a few of the potential pitfalls of digital life.

The app is constructed round a particular software program keyboard that pops up when youngsters sort messages and displays the tone of the phrases being typed and language used.

The Own It app additionally has its personal content material that goals to assist children handle the period of time they spend their display and passes on different recommendation about accountable on-line interplay.

The BBC mentioned the app would additionally commonly encourage children to speak to folks and guardians about good and dangerous on-line experiences and their telephone use.

The app has no reporting system that oldsters can seek the advice of to supervise telephone use, mentioned the BBC.

Online dangers

The app could be “warmly welcomed” by some dad and mom, mentioned Prof Sonia Livingstone, a social psychologist from the London School of Economics who heads the EU Kids Online challenge which researches the digital diets of youthful individuals.

Image copyright Instagram
Image caption Instagram has additionally put in place instruments to assist fight bullying

Prof Livingstone, who has seen demonstration variations of Own It, added: “Based on my research on children’s online risks and opportunities, I think it should be very helpful for children, especially younger ones, and ideally would also stimulate constructive conversations between children and parents.”

She mentioned one of many “strengths” of the app was the trouble it took to guard a baby’s privateness. This stood in distinction to different apps that many dad and mom use to watch and management their children’s on-line lives.

However, mentioned Prof Livingstone, there have been more likely to be limits on its usefulness for some younger individuals.

“The challenge will be to get it to the children who are more at risk online,” she mentioned.

The Own It app started improvement in 2018 and has drawn on enter and assist from many alternative child-focused charities and welfare teams.

Partners embody the Mental Health Foundation, the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the NSPCC, the Diana Award and Childnet.

The app is being launched in opposition to a background of analysis which exhibits how involved some dad and mom are about telephone use amongst their offspring.

One research revealed in August suggests half of all UK dad and mom need mobiles banned in faculties to assist regulate use.

Separate research counsel youngsters will not be broken by extended display use however official recommendation within the UK says dad and mom ought to inform children to place down their units within the hour earlier than mattress.

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