The Project Innovation

Children are often in danger on the Internet because of not understanding the relevance of data. They either too freely provide their own data and thus run the risk of identity theft or of an unwanted third party being able to target them, or they too easily believe the actuality of data provided by others and thus could become targeted by a third party who is disguised by a false identity.


Proposed remedy:

Children should learn to appreciate the relevance of data, both of the data they provide and the data they receive. They should learn how they can validate incoming data and how they can evaluate when to provide and when to validate outgoing data.

Crucially, they should start to understand the relationship between validated data and identity. They should learn when loose data start being more than that – when they become the building blocks of an identity. For children it is hard to grasp this relationship, for the identity emerges from even more validated data. The emergent character of identity should be made clear to children to enable them to understand the importance of loose data. They should not just be taught what to do and what not to do but they should internalize the reasons why.


Target Groups: The direct target groups for the duration of the project are children between the ages of 8 and 14, Schools, Children's associations and organisations, Universities educating teachers, social workers working with children while the indirect target group comprise Parents, Teachers, Designers & developers of teaching material for kids, Computer & Internet trainers.

The children that are the direct target group of the project need to learn to appreciate the relevance of data they provide and receive, but it is difficult for them to understand the relationship between validated data and identity. Similarly, for educators it is difficult to teach children of this age to understand the relevance of data and they are always in danger of passing the wrong messages to children. Especially for the UK, the target area will be Manchester. Manchester is a large City that has all the problems associated with urban living including low income, skills levels, high levels of unemployment poor educational qualifications caused by high levels of school drop outs, which further compounds the problematic issues relative to the protection of the rights of the child while on the Internet.


Augmented reality is an excellent way to demonstrate the essence of what it means for an identity to be emerging. In a purely visual way - that is a magnet to a child’s attention - augmented reality leaps from a sign that is being shown to a camera to an animated 3D image that emerges out of the sign once the sign is being directed at the camera. Since the transformation only occurs on the screen that represents the camera image but not in reality, augmented reality beautifully illustrates the emergent interpretation of data that occurs in a third person’s mind although in reality nothing seems to happen.


An augmented reality game will be created in which different sets of data, both active and passive, lead to different outcomes as symbolized by signs. These different signs will be printed by children as an outcome of a stage in the game and will shown to a computer camera. Then, on their computer screen, the augmented reality translation of the signs will be shown. This translation represents the identity that emerges from the data they have entered in the course of the game. By playing the game children will learn that not providing any data or providing only a small amount of data leads to either a complete lack of representation or a distorted representation while providing of too many validated data will lead to a truthful representation.


The project is not a direct continuation of a previous activity or project, but can relate to the objectives and benefit from the results of the Jenny's Story ( initiative. It could be seen as a continuation of the project in the sense that it aims to achieve the same objectives via a more innovative, modern and interactive approach based on an Augmented Reality game. The film was last updated in 2007 and the initiative started a few years before, meaning the latest development are not taken fully into account and especially in social networking, changes in the last 3 years have been enormous. The current project will use the story presented in the film as input for designing the storyboard and the teacher's guide and supporting material for developing instructional videos of high quality. The findings of the final evaluation report following the pilot phase of Jenny’s stories in 12 secondary schools throughout a three month period were very inspirational when designing the current project. The partners believe the Jenny's story initiative was very good and an excellent foundation to the current project which intends to take into account all the latest technologies and trends in AR and social networking while devising innovative methods for educating children based on serious games. It is believed that an interactive approach such as the one proposed here will achieve bigger impact than the static approach of the film, as the film may be considered too static in relation to today's technological capabilities and does not provide a lot of room for real time interaction which produces excellent educational results.