Online Masters will also target parents. VodafoneZiggo announced this on the final day of the Week van de Mediawijsheid (Media Awareness Week). Online Masters is now expanding with Online Masters @Home to help parents discuss digital media with their children. It includes short videos on specific and relevant media (education) topics.

VodafoneZiggo has reached more than 550,000 primary and secondary school students through schools with the Online Masters teaching programme since 2017. By introducing Online Masters @Home, VodafoneZiggo is also taking the first steps towards appealing to a new target group. The rationale behind it is the Digital Media Education* qualitative study that, with the help of, VodafoneZiggo commissioned Ruigrok research bureau to conduct among dozens of parents and children, followed by panel discussions. It shows that parents feel the need and responsibility to discuss digital media with their children, but don’t always actually have that conversation.

Knowledge gap
For one thing, many parents find it challenging to keep up with the rapidly changing digital world. “All these digital things, like gaming, mostly don’t match parents’ personal interests, and they often don’t really know what’s going on,” says Koen Schobbers, a gaming expert who speaks in the first Online Master @Home video. “Children, on the other hand, are learning their way around the online world at lightning speed. The result is an ever-widening knowledge gap. Engaging in conversation with each other is the only solution.”

Secondly, parents are more likely to focus on the dangers of digital media rather than the positives. “Because of the knowledge and interest gap, parents are more likely to have conversations with their gaming children about their concerns and irritations, while children mainly see the positive sides,” says Schobbers. There’s a need to strike a balance. “When parents start talking with their children from this angle, the conversation tends to be negatively charged, focusing on what can go wrong. The child, who looks at digital media in a completely different way, thinks Mum and Dad shouldn’t get so het up. They sometimes even regard these conversations as ‘nagging’.”

Online Masters @Home
To keep parents up to date on specific and relevant media (education) issues, Online Masters is now expanding with Online Masters @Home. These are short videos that teach parents digital skills and knowledge. The first two videos on online gaming and TikTok are now live. Koen Schobbers (author of the book ‘Mijn gamende kind’) appears as one of the experts in these videos.

Online Masters
The Online Masters programme, developed by VodafoneZiggo in collaboration with partners ECP/safetyternet and Netwerk Mediawijsheid, continues to expand. Earlier this year, for instance, a new Online Masters module was introduced for secondary special education. There is also the Online Masters Class: lectures, specifically for teachers, on all kinds of digital topics. Online Masters @Home is the latest addition and is yet another step towards improving digital skills and pursuing equal opportunities for all.

‘‘Whereas Online Masters used to focus only on students, teachers and schools, Online Masters @Home has now been added,’’ said Laura van Gestel, director of Social Corporate Responsibility at VodafoneZiggo. ‘‘Online Masters @Home provides parents with explanations in clear language and images. As a telecom company in a rapidly developing digital world, we think it’s important to give parents a hand when it comes to media education.’’

*) Qualitative research Digitale Mediaopvoeding, Ruigrok & VodafoneZiggo (2022)