- It’s free to download
- Nothing your child types is shared with the BBC or anyone else
- It helps kids to make smart choices online
It’s really important that children lead a happy and healthy life online, but that balance can become tricky when they get their hands on their first phone.
Maybe their phone notifications are keeping them up at night. Or maybe they’re not sure what information is safe to share online? Or maybe the ‘banter’ is getting a little bit out of hand in the group chat?
The BBC Own It app can help, by giving children advice and guidance when they need it the most. The app has a special keyboard that can be used like any other keyboard – to type messages to friends, post on social media or search online – and the clever bit happens while they are typing.
The keyboard uses special technology to check what’s being typed and gives feedback and support, helpful tips and friendly advice. The BBC Own It app also has a diary feature where children can track how they’re feeling.
Everything that a child types using the keyboard is kept completely private, and never leave the app on their device. That means that children can use the keyboard, add notes and track their emotions without worrying about who might see.
The app and keyboard use specially developed machine learning technology combined with a self reporting function to build a picture of how your child is doing, promoting positive behaviours online and stepping in to help when your child may be struggling.
In addition to special keyboard, the app comes with – gifs, videos, emojis, quizzes, articles, top tips and much more.
With this latest update, additions have included words such as coronavirus, covid, and pandemic.
A new addition to this system is the classification of messages related to coronavirus and isolation. The system will recognise any words or phrases concerning the issue and then measures if the emotion sentiment is anger, fear, or worry.
For example, if a user were to type “I’m so lonely with this isolating”, a passive intervention would be presented supporting the child in understanding that it is okay to be worried and they’re not alone –the user is then offered a link to helpful content within the companion app.
These are curated content concentrated on a specific topic. The first two collections launched with this release are The Lowdown Lockdown and Feeling Anxious or Scared?
In addition to using the BBC Own It app, your child will need your help to get the best out of their online experiences. Having ongoing check-ins about what they do online is important. We’ve created a number of guides to help you do just that. See a few of these below to help you manage your child’s digital wellbeing.
Give your child a guiding hand as they start their digital journey online with practical tips.
Help children deal with online issues and open up about their digital lives with these simple tips.
To support the work we’ve done for parents on managing inappropriate content online, BBC has created a video for children to guide them on what they should do if they come across anything upsetting online. Check out the video here.
See more advice and resources to help your child stay safe online.