Cleo: An Internet Safety Learning Kit
Class: Design Workshop (Thesis Project), Fourth Year
Throughout the first half of the course, the objective was to formulate a self-directed research question on a topic of choice, and gather and conduct primary and secondary research. Later, in the second half of the course, and as a response to the self-directed question and research gathered, use graphic design as a means to somehow address or respond to the topic of choice and its problems or concerns.
For my thesis project, I was interested in the topic of Internet safety and how it relates to children (and adults).
My secondary research on Internet safety explored Internet safety-related studies that focused on a variety of results and correlations related to children and the adults in their lives, such as their knowledge and understanding of the Internet and online safety; their Internet use, habits and skills; participants' perceptions of the Internet; learning through gamification; etc. This then prepared me to conduct and record my own primary research, which focused on evaluating an online Internet safety learning tool designed for young students.
Using the research I had gathered and collected influenced my design decision to respond to some of the concerns I had about young children's use of the Internet, where and how they learn about the Internet, and how to integrate gamification in a learning environment.
This response lead me to design an at-home Internet-safety learning kit for first graders (five to seven-year-olds) and their parents/guardians, called Cleo.
The Cleo learning kit contains 3 learning activities that allow children to learn about the Internet and online safety together with their parents or guardians through participation and gamified engagement and learning through the following: a website, flashcards, and activity books.
But, why the name 'Cleo'?
Cleo is also the name of the learning kit's character, who is a friendly and curious six-year-old from Planet B-10, where they use the Internet in order to help them learn about and discover outer-space. Cleo dreams of becoming a space explorer, but he first needs to learn about the Internet in order to become one step closer to fulfilling his dreams, and asks kids to learn alongside him and help him with his missions.
The Cleo Website
The first activity in the learning kit is a website, which allows children to learn about the Internet and online safety along with their parental figures. The website covers 5 Internet safety-related lessons that are delivered to children audibly and visually and allow children to learn through various learning methods, such as video tutorials, mini games and challenges that allow them to apply their learning, and more. This activity prepare children for remaining 2 subsequent activities in the kit.
As they complete one lesson on the website at a time, or wait until they complete them all, children are then ready to begin using the flashcards with their parents or guardians. These flashcards encourage participation and conversation between children and adults, and cover topics related to all 5 lessons through a colour-coded system.
The flashcards are organized with 3 different types of flashcard formats, which include:
- What Is It? cards, which require children to correctly identify Internet-related icons and their meanings;
- Question Time! cards, which require children to respond to questions that have factual or desirable answers; and
- What Should Cleo Do? cards, which require children to think and answer critically about what actions Cleo should take when faced with a given problem.
Cleo Activity Books
Once children are ready after completing the website and flashcard activities, they can then begin to work on the Cleo activity books, which have been designed to allow children to continue applying their knowledge, understanding and critical thinking through small exercises. These exercises range from drawing and colouring, matching, and reading and writing, and can be completed by children on their own with parents or guardians available to assist them when needed. These books also have stickers, which act as rewards, available for children at the end of each book once they complete them.
Learning Kit Packaging
The design of the learning kit box aims to promote and garner interest for the learning kit from children, while also communicating the values and benefits of the learning kit to parents and guardians.