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New Centre to protect children growing up in the digital age

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will be leading an international research that will document what life is like when born into the digital age.

As reported, Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan has announced AU$ 34.9 million for the establishment of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child.

This will be based at the University.

Federal Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans said the outcomes of the Centre would inform public policy across a diverse range of areas: privacy, security and safety to health, education and families’ policy.

Who are involved?

Researchers from Australian universities collaborating with the University in the new Centre include Curtin University, Deakin University, Edith Cowan University, University of Queensland and University of Wollongong.

In total, the Centre has 33 national and international academic and industry partners. Together they will provide the Centre with an additional AU$ 32.2 million in cash and in-kind support.

It would bring together academics from Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and South Korea.

Their research spans diverse disciplines such as education, health, computer science, engineering, psychology, and digital technologies to media and communication.

In addition, the research will involve government and non-government agencies, local and overseas industry, policy-makers, philanthropic groups, as well as children and their parents.

Researchers will work with start-ups and technology providers to test prototypes and gather feedback from children at research hubs.

Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child

The Centre would focus on children from birth to eight years of age with a detailed seven-year research program, including a longitudinal family cohort study with 3000 families.

A child’s digital footprint begins even before birth, through data generated by health and educational records.

Add to that social media and the many young children’s toys connected to the internet, with activities and preferences tracked by commercial entities.

The vision is to ensure children growing up in the digital age are healthy, educated and connected.

It will provide evidence-based research around the risks as well as the many opportunities and innovations provided by digital technologies that can benefit children and their futures.

There are conflicting national guidelines and advice about many digital technology issues and the Centre aims to provide authoritative information to guide families, educators, governments and other authorities.

The three key research areas the Centre will focus on are:

  1. Health

This involves balancing risks of using digital technology against benefits, such as access to knowledge, social interaction, sleep and physical activity, relaxation and entertainment.

  1. Education

This involves using digital technologies to optimise learning and develop engaging and thought-provoking new technologies.

  1. Connectedness

This involves balancing social and knowledge connections in the digital world against risks of surveillance, infringements of privacy and children’s rights.

The Centre is tasked with several activities. These are:

  1. Deliver and disseminate evidence-based research to optimise children’s use of digital technology
  2. Provide recommendations for policy-makers and curriculum development to enable child-directed digital learning, participation and enjoyment
  3. Guidelines and resources for parents, educators and communities about safe and effective digital practices
  4. Technological innovations that support children’s digital engagement

Additionally, the Centre will provide professional development programs for those working with children and build research capacity with high-quality graduates and early career researchers.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.