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EE Prepares Kids for Life Online with UK’s First Phone Licence ‘Phonesmart’

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EE’s new PhoneSmart Licence campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi is a free-to-access online course aimed at 10–13-year-olds getting their first phone

EE Prepares Kids for Life Online with UK’s First Phone Licence ‘Phonesmart’

Today EE launches PhoneSmart a free online programme that provides young people with the tools and confidence to use phone technology safely and responsibly before they get their first phone. After completing this digital course, children will be armed with the knowledge and skills needed to take this next step in their independence and awarded their EE PhoneSmart Licence.  

The hour-long course was created in collaboration with experts from Internet Matters, and in consultation with Home-Start, ChildNet, Marie Collins Foundation and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and is split into four modules; online hate, digital wellbeing, staying safe online and digital & media literacy.

Designed to actively engage 10–13-year-olds, each module features animated storylines, interactive quizzes and activities, all highlighting the benefits and dangers of phones, and helping them to understand how they can identify and report instances of online abuse, hate, discrimination and cyberbullying.

The EE PhoneSmart Licence was created in response to parents’ and guardians’ concerns around the challenges presented by giving a child their own device. Research from Ofcom1 revealed that 49% of 8 to 11 year-olds now own their own smartphone. That number increases to a whopping 91% for 12 to 15 year olds, with 81% having had at least one potentially harmful experience online in the past year.

Arming parents and guardians with the knowledge and confidence to help their children navigate this milestone safely and responsibly, the EE PhoneSmart Licence will combat these concerns. Acting as a tool for parents and guardians to help gauge their child’s readiness for the responsibilities of smartphone ownership, the course will carefully prepare children to navigate the online world independently as they get their phone, and in doing so, reassure parents and guardians that their child is aware of their new-found responsibility as a digital citizen.

To mark the launch of the EE PhoneSmart Licence and encourage parents and guardians and their children to take part in the course, EE has unveiled a new short film, featuring musician Clement Marfo, highlighting not only the breadth of things that can be done with a phone, from creating new dance routines to learning a new skill, but also the dangers that children may be exposed to.

Kelly Engstrom, brand and demand generation communications director at EE said: “The build up to getting your first phone is both exciting and daunting for children and their parents. The EE PhoneSmart Licence was created to help navigate this milestone, equipping young people with an understanding of phone safety.

Our mission as the UK’s leading network is to connect for good, and by educating the next generation on how to avoid dangers and get the best from their first phone, we can play our part in keeping children safe online. We believe that every child should be safe online which is why we’ve made the course free and available to everyone, regardless of what network they’re on.”

Dan Treichel, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “When cars were first around, anyone could drive without any training. And sure enough, this proved dangerous and a course and driving licence were brought in to keep people safe. Like getting your first car, getting your hands on your first smartphone is a big moment, full of excitement and promise, but with risks. 

The iPhone was released in 2007 but until now, there wasn’t a course to teach people how to be safe and kind when using their smartphones. With PhoneSmart Licence, kids will now have the tools and know-how to navigate this new world safely and parents and carers will have the reassurance they need.”

The programme has been developed by EE’s advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. The EE PhoneSmart digital learning platform was designed and built by Digitas.

EE’s media agency Essence Global has managed all paid media for this campaign, collaborating with parenting influencers including Scummy Mummies, Dad v Girls and Big Fat Greek Mother, as well as bespoke host read spots on some of the UK’s best loved podcasts including Table Manners, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Spinning Plates, Wolf & Owl, Parenting Hell and Confessions of a Modern Parent. The campaign will also run across social, radio and video channels.

EE's PhoneSmart Licence is part of a larger ongoing effort from BT Group to support people to make the most of life in the digital world, with a commitment to help 25 million people improve their digital skills by March 20262. 

To find out more about the EE PhoneSmart Licence, visit here.

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Genres: Animation, People

Categories: Mobile Network, Utilities

Saatchi & Saatchi London, Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:06:43 GMT