ThinkUKnow

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ThinkUKnow
Type of site
Government
Owner Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Created by Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Education Team
Website www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Commercial No
Registration No

ThinkUKnow is the education programme of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre aimed at young people, and encourages Internet. It is based around three key themes:

  • How to have fun
  • How to stay in control (or how to take control)
  • How to report a problem

The education programme consists of a presentation, which is given to young people in schools, youth groups and other youth environments, a website aimed directly at young people, which also contains information for teachers and parents, a number of hard-hitting education films designed to make young people think about whom they are talking to online, and other resources including posters and a range of promotional material.

The Website[edit]

Young People[edit]

The website was originally started in 2001 at the Home Office and was advertised on television and in cinemas; however, in April 2006, it was taken over by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, who now keep it running. The website was designed by Contrapositive, with input from the CEOP Centre's dedicated youth panel, to make it relevant to young people.

The first CEOP-created version of the website was split into three main areas, each linked to one of the programmes main themes, and a colour, which ran throughout pages in that area of the website, and also the presentation, with the website then being split into eight areas in each of these (except How to Report) each about a new technology, and how to either have fun with it safely or how to stay in control when using it. The section entitled "How to Report" included information on what can be reported to the CEOP centre online, and how to do this, and fills only one page.

On 22 October 2007, the first major revision to the website was launched, a majority of the content of the previous website continues, however now in a dedicated 11–16 section, and new sections for those aged 5–7 (featuring Hector, a cartoon dolphin), and an 8–11 section, which is based around a Flash-based cyber cafe, in which virtual young people are experimenting with new technologies.

On 9 February 2009, the ThinkUKnow Australia website[1] was launched for teachers, parents and carers. It was created by the Australian Federal Police in close consultation with CEOP, the Australian Communications and Media Authority and Microsoft Australia. It is expected that this site will grow to include information and resources for young people of all ages, in similar fashion to the ThinkUKnow UK website.[2]

Adults[edit]

The main splash page links to Teacher and Parent areas, each of which have a simple, professional theme. The teachers area allows teachers to download materials for use in the classroom, and the parents area includes information on what is good, bad and dangerous about new technologies.

The ThinkUKnow Australia site[3] also provides information and download materials for teachers and parents, catering specifically to the Australian community.

Presentation[edit]

The programme also contains a Flash-based interactive presentation, which is given to young people in schools and other youth environments. It is based around the programme's three main themes, with colour-coded screens for each, and the education films embedded. It is designed to be talked through by a presenter, and includes points for discussion and demonstrations, like online reporting.

It was originally estimated that between September 2006 and March 2007, 1 million young people would have seen the presentation, although it has since emerged that this will be nearer half a million, and a million by the end of the academic year.

Films[edit]

Both the website and presentation include hard-hitting education films, and currently three have been released.

Clare's Story[edit]

Clare's Story was the first film, made by Straker Films for the Centre before it opened in early 2006, and was featured extensively in media coverage of the launch. It uses "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" by the band Oasis and opens with Clare, a teenage girl, crying, having just been abused, then goes in reverse to show her leaving the attackers home, and meeting her attacker. It proceeds to show them chatting over MSN Messenger before they met up, and then she is asked to "take her top off". She reports this through the CEOP centre's website and is free to continue her life as normal. In the ICVA awards, Clare's Story won Gold for Best Public Charity and Public Welfare film and Best Editing, and bronze for Best Director.

Tom's Story[edit]

This film is based around a boy named Tom, who talks about playing online games and meeting a similar boy named Jack. Jack asks Tom to go football training with him, and Tom agrees. When he arrives at Jack's house, Tom is greeted by a man who appears about 15 years older, who claims to be Jack's older brother. He offers to let him come in and wait for Jack. While they are waiting, Jack's brother offers Tom a beer, and "one turned into two" until Tom is drunk. He is then approached by Jack's brother, who Tom then works out is the person he met online, who holds him down and starts to remove his clothes. The film then cuts to where Tom is leaving, crying, and shuts himself in his bedroom. He then remembers about the ThinkUKnow website, where he reports "Jack", then considers what would have happened if he had followed the website's advice and suggested bringing a parent to meet Jack. The film ends with Tom playing football while "Jack's brother" is being arrested. In the ICVA awards, Tom's Story won Gold for Best Education Film.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]