Twenty-five public school teachers from the province of Batanes were certified recently as ambassadors under the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP), an award-winning program by Globe Telecom, Optus, and Singtel created to turn the youth into responsible online citizens.
As ambassadors, the teachers are tasked with transferring the knowledge they learned from DTP facilitators and experts to co-teachers from other schools in the province.
“The manner we think, say, and do leave remarkable thumbprints in the lives of others. In this digital era, everyone should be extra careful in getting along with people through social media by adhering to moral norms of conduct and cyber education. As teachers, we are duty-bound to teach and model cyber values to our youth. This could be achieved via the Digital Thumbprint Program of Globe Telecom so we want to grab this opportunity to make a difference in how the youth interact online,” said Reynante Caliguiran, Schools Division Superintendent of Batanes, during simple ceremonies held at Basco Central School in Basco, Batanes.
“About half of Internet users in our country are adolescents aged 17 years old and below according to the Philippine National Police, showing how vital the internet is in molding the lives of the Filipino youth. As a purveyor of digital lifestyle, Globe wants the youth to not just embrace the internet to learn, play, and socialize but also to be safe whenever they are online. Thus, we are glad that [the Department of Education] and our teachers and the province of Batanes support us in this undertaking,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe SVP for Corporate Communications.
Thus, Globe’s Digital Thumbprint program was born, with the desire to educate the Filipino youth on the responsible use of the Internet. Globe worked with Optus and Singtel on the program, which was also co-designed by the Karrikins Group, in order to promote responsible digital citizenship and cyber wellness. This workshop series, which includes safety and security, responsibility and etiquette, and leadership and empowerment when online as prime elements, was modeled with that of the successful Optus Digital Thumbprint program in Australia.
It offers three learning modules that will make learning exciting for students in private and public schools nationwide, such as “Digital Insight,” mainly recommended for Grade 7-10 students, that features activities to help students discern proper online behavior; “Digital Impact,” which is tailored also for Grade 7-10 students, that will tackle issues on technology’s impact on students’ social activities; and “Digital Ambition” for Grade 11-12 students to equip them with skills in using technology to help achieve their lives’ goals.
Every module was conceptualized and designed to increase students’ knowledge of digital citizenship and cyber safety. It involved taking a careful and critical look at kids’ online behavior and helping them develop insights as to how the online world can influence them in making choices. It is seen as a more fun and interactive alternative learning module to the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao or EP class.
At present, the program already reached more than 10,000 public and private high school students while over 1,000 public high school teachers were already empowered to cascade the program to their students. DTP is also part of Globe Telecom’s #makeITsafePH campaign which promotes cybersecurity and cyber wellness among consumers and businesses.
As of 2016, there are already 44 million internet users in the country, based on figures culled from www.internetlivestats.com, with connectivity pegged at 43.5%. Filipinos also spend the most amount of hours on social media, averaging a global-leading 4 hours and 17 minutes per day average, based on figures in the “Digital in 2017” report of social media management platform Hootsuite and We Are Social, Ltd. as of January this year.