Tech UPTechnology"The people who inhabit the internet are not figures...

"The people who inhabit the internet are not figures and algorithms": Olimpia Coral talks about the importance of digital education

“We need a lot of sex education, online education and cybersecurity. The people who inhabit the internet are not figures and algorithms. We are people. And the same conditions that we reflect on in the spaces outside have to be applied online”, shared Olimpia Coral Melo, activist and promoter of the Olimpia Law.

In the auditorium of the General Rector’s Office of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UAM), the forum How to build a secure digital world was held where Olimpia Coral; Katia D’Artigues, co-founder of the NGO Yo Tambien; and Pamela Araico, manager of Public Policies at AT&T Mexico, spoke about the actions that must be carried out to have safer digital spaces and, among them, highlighted education.

This event is part of the actions of the digital citizenship campaign launched by AT&T Mexico, Profeco and Yo Tambien with the aim of providing information and raising awareness among users of telecommunications services about the safe and responsible use of technology.

“Digital violence, which mainly affects women (although not exclusively), can spread rapidly with serious economic and public health consequences,” said Daniel Ríos, Deputy Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability at AT&T Mexico. “We can only prevent it if we are informed and educated to use technology responsibly and the legal framework is properly applied.”

The importance of digital education in Mexico

, which will be implemented in the 2022-2023 school year for preschool, primary and secondary school students, is organized around seven axes:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Interculturality
  3. Gender equality
  4. Inclusion
  5. Healthy life
  6. Appropriation of cultures through reading and writing
  7. Arts and aesthetic experiences.

However, it is necessary that these axes are also learned in digital environments. When talking about ICTs in the world, their main approaches are that the digital divide lies in technological skills and the use of technological devices per se.

“Access to technology does not give us knowledge of them” Olimpia mentioned. For this reason, the challenge of the basic education curriculum is for children and adolescents to develop and consolidate the necessary skills, knowledge and values so that they can make diversified uses of technologies.

“Digital is real,” said D’Artigues. And it is that part of the digital divide is not only in the use and access to devices, but also that girls, women and vulnerable groups stop using technology because of digital violence.

“After what happened to me, I didn’t want to have a relationship with technology again,” Olimpia shared. “But when digital violence began to be called, I started to open up more.”

For example, if the axis of “inclusion” were taught to develop content for people with disabilities, or if the axis of “equality and gender” educated about sexting and digital violence, it would be a much more comprehensive education.

Digital education: responsibility of companies, governments and citizens

All the members of the forum agreed that it is necessary to start by educating in prevention and that this is the responsibility of both companies, governments and citizens.

For example, AT&T highlighted that, together with the Federal Educational Authority in Mexico City (AEFCM), they will launch a program that will be part of the study plans for girls and boys in Mexico City to provide them with the necessary tools to use ICTs efficiently, safely and responsibly.

On the other hand, Olimpia Coral shared the following points:

  1. Prevention and education: “Let’s not talk about technology as a material spectrum, but human.” He proposed that the subject of ICTs, within the framework of public education, migrate to digital education and that there be a special emphasis on comprehensive online sexual education and human rights.
  2. Promote STEM careers among women, indigenous people, Afro-descendants and the LGBTQ community : Having more of these profiles in these areas will allow more efficient solutions to be detected and created to problems of digital violence that are experienced in digital spaces. .

Public policies to know what to do in all environments: “The fact that the Olympia Law exists does not mean that we no longer have risks on the Internet or a solution to problems (…) If we wanted to provide real tools, we should educate in legal processes”. According to Olimpia, most people who suffer digital violence do not know which instances to turn to or how to go about it, and this is also the responsibility of the state.

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