In the MyData Matters blog series, MyData members introduce innovative solutions and practical use cases that leverage personal data in line with MyData values.
Imagine a safe digital environment built for children to interact with their own multimedia. A personal vault where children can explore within defined boundaries, engaging with audio’s, video’s and pictures of themselves and their favourite people. The mIKs-it tool does precisely this: it has been designed to foster joy and connection to everyday life for children – with privacy, security and control as the foundation.
Help, my toddler on the tablet!?
The unique approach of the mIKs-it tool lies in the fact that it focusses on the developmental stages of 0-7 years. Whether it is playing with their parents’ phone,
watching YouTube or listening to songs: early childhood is most likely the period
when children will first come into contact with technology. When introducing new
technology (tablets, apps,…) to children we should keep asking ourselves critical
questions about that new technology.
But please let’s not forget that we can ACT instead of being paralyzed by fear and
worry. It is important to empower children by creating awareness about the
potential dangers online without scaring them off. The big question is: How can we
go from protecting children in the online world to empowering them?
A tool designed to feel good
With mIKs-it, we created a digital space that starts from the children’s point of
view. The tool exists of two companion apps – a media app for kids, supported by
an admin app for their trusted grown-ups. In the mIKs-it ‘kids app’ children are
free to experiment, to wander around. But the control and consent of what will be
available in the kids app is always with parents and guardians since they are the
ones managing content and connections through the admin app.
Our goal when developing mIKs-it was to give children a tool for self-development
with positivity coming from real interactions with people, animals and things in
their everyday life: the beauty in small things. mIKs-it wants to promote emotional
well-being, while being mindful of children’s cognitive limits and not overwhelm
them with excessive information, images and advertisements. The mIKs-it ‘kids
app’ is a digital space free from information overload that uses multiple ways to
meet children’s needs for interaction.
It’s really hard for children (and adults) to understand the processing of personal
data that the widely used addictive applications are based on. We believe that it’s
important for children that they can explore who they are: creating their own
identity should be made possible without being manipulated by algorithms and
ads. When using mIKs-it, your personal data is never collected or sold.
It takes a (digital) village to raise a child
The school – and the greater circle of trust around a child – also has an important
role to play in creating safe spaces for children. We have to acknowledge that
besides empowering the child, we also have to empower the child’s circle of trust
consisting of family, teachers, and others. More broadly, creating awareness of the
dangers online is the responsibility of the whole community. We need the support
of everyone: the child, the parents, the caregivers,… to create awareness.
The app is also an aid for children to better express themselves. The tool helps
stimulate creativity and can help children develop strong communication skills, as
they learn to share parts of their daily life with their circle of trust (mom, dad,
grandparents, caregivers, …).
Where it all started:
The non-profit organisation, Heder, designed the multimedia app mIKs-it in
partnership with Meeco. Heder contributes to a more inclusive society by
providing care and guidance to improve quality of life for children with different
abilities – along with their families and extended networks.
mIKs-it is built on Meeco’s globally awarded SVX platform. SVX provides end-to-
end encryption of content and makes it possible for people to set up private
connections with trusted people and then share the encrypted content. Personal
data is never collected or sold.
More info: www.miks-it.com