The Cyber Fairy Tales project was launched in 2021. The main motive and goal were to explain primary cyber security threats to children aged 5-7 in a simple, attractive, and positive way.
As in the physical and cyber worlds, there are not only forces of good but also forces of evil; good people and people who have evil and nefarious intentions. Our modern societies are increasingly dependent on digital technologies. Digital technologies are good servants, but they can also be bad masters if misused, and we do not think about security. As in the physical world, there are many threats and risks in the cyber world.
The project’s main goal is to introduce children, as well as their parents and teachers, to the threats and risks of the cyber world. From time immemorial, fairy tales have been one of the tools to not only „entertain“ children but also to educate them naturally. Another positive fact about fairy tales is that they usually end well, and the result is typically a lesson for life.
Our country, the Czech Republic, is the land of Božena Němcová (a Czech writer and collector of fairy tales), Karel Čapek (a Czech writer; creator of the word ROBOT), Jan Werich (a Czech writer and actor). These and many other influential writers gave us many beautiful stories and fairy tales. We were also inspired in this direction and created fairy tales in which elements of the cyber world are incorporated, in other words, „Cyber Fairy Tales“.
However, we decided not to invent new fairy tales and stories that, at first glance, could be better, but instead to use classic, familiar stories that we enriched with aspects from the cyber world. This allows readers to see the differences and parallels between the physical and cyber worlds. We found many beautiful and simple similarities. The writing team enjoys it, and according to the initial reactions, it is fun and refreshing for children, parents, and teachers.
One of the main goals is to provide cyber fairy tales to teachers, kindergartens, and elementary schools. With the help of partners and a crowdfunding project, we produced the first 1,200 books, which we currently being distributed to teachers. We also started a pilot project with the first kindergartens on using cyber fairy tales in teaching and discussion with children.
In cooperation with many partners (for example, NCISA – National Cyber and Information Security Agency), we have prepared methodological aids for teachers from kindergartens and elementary schools, which they can use when discussing our cyber fairy tales with children.
In cooperation with Vodafone and the prominent Czech actor and dubber Petr Stach, we have also prepared an audio version of the fairy tales, which is available on our website dedicated to this topic: www.kyberpohadky.cz. Considering the great interest, we have also prepared cyber fairy tales in English, Slovak and German. We are currently working on Hungarian and other languages.
Cyber fairy tales in English
The basic version of Cyber Fairy Tales, containing three fairy tales, was also published in English.