This EdTech startup wants to change how children in Ireland learn about internet safety

Edtech start-up, Zeeko, has announced the launch of a new and interactive Peer-to-Peer educational platform to transform the way internet safety is taught to primary school children in Ireland.

Zeeko, headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD), has already taught internet safety to over 100,000 children in over 800 schools across Ireland through its traditional presenter seminars model.

The company’s new educational platform, Appyness Online, is based on in-depth research and feedback, and shifts the internet safety conversation into a different realm with the evolution of peer-led teaching.

Through Appyness Online, Zeeko is aiming to reduce the negative online experiences encountered by children through education. The platform is targeted at principals in primary schools whilst end users are children (aged 9-12 years) and their parents.

Recent research by Zeeko on the digital behaviours of young people in Ireland found the percentage of children who identified themselves as being victims of cyberbullying ranged from 10% in 1st class to 18% in 6th year. Children that witnessed cyberbullying ranged from 20% in primary schools to 45% in 6th year. Starting from 5th class, the percentage of girls, victims of cyberbullying, increased progressively reaching the 31% in 6th year. (See reference below).

Recognising the urgent need to educate children on their online safety, Zeeko has developed the Appyness Online education platform, built with technology which is commonly used for developing games. Appyness Online allows children to teach each other internet safety, empowering children how to think as opposed to what to think, enabling every child to be a critical thinker.

Speaking during the launch of Appyness Online at an event held at NovaUCD, Joe Kenny, founder and CEO, Zeeko said:

The internet is a fantastic resource for children. However, we are concerned about the negative impact it can have on their lives. With our Appyness Online platform, I believe we can positively impact how internet safety us delivered to children in primary schools in Ireland and across Europe as well as reduce the consequences of negative experiences.”

He added, “Peer pressure is normally seen as a negative but Zeeko is using peer pressure as a positive. Appyness Online is a peer-to-peer education platform where young people teach each other how to safely benefit from the internet.”

He concluded, “This new product embraces the Irish Government’s aim to encourage more peer-to-peer learning and encourage students to be more self-reflective and autonomous in the learning process as set-out in the Action Plan for Online Safety 2018-2019.”

Following the successful roll-out of the platform in Ireland, Zeeko plans to introduce Appyness Online into the UK and mainland Europe markets.

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