In March, UPC Ireland, the telecommunications firm, launched Magic Desktop, an innovative piece of software to help parents keep their children safe online as they encourage children to play and learn in a safe computing environment.
Designed specifically for children from two to ten years of age, the program allows children to have fun safely through a stylish and child-friendly desktop interface of their own.
Magic Desktop seals off the wider computer and manages online access in lines with parental controls.
The Windows-based software is free to download for every household, family or school by clicking here.
Dana Strong, the Chief Executive of UPC Ireland, launched the program last March during a magic show for children in St. Brigid’s Primary School, Haddington Road in Dublin.
The launch was welcomed by the National Parents Council and Webwise, the internet safety initiative of the National Centre for Technology in Education.
“The launch of UPC Magic Desktop forms a leading element of our commitment to digital inclusion for all, early skills development and online safety,” said Ms Strong.
Magic Desktop provides a child-friendly computing environment
“Unlike most parental control software which requires you to block websites that could be inappropriate, the Magic Desktop requires parents to pre-approve the websites that children can access which gives them total control over their children’s computer usage and provides a very enjoyable and entertaining experience for children.”
The program provides a child-friendly, safe and easy to use computing environment with early learning programmes and clever games to help children get the most from their computer usage.
Fun features include children’s mail, reading, writing, numbers, maths, painting and music.
Features for parents include computer access controls, system and data protection and content supervision. They can approve and manage what their children can access and who they can contact.
Áine Lynch, Chief Executive, National Parents Council, added: “The priority for computer literacy begins at a very early age and so does the necessity to ensure that clear boundaries are set to protect children around the appropriateness of the various content and interactions that they may be exposed to through computer usage.
“Clearly that is a parental responsibility and obligation and we believe that this Magic Desktop software from UPC will provide a valuable and useful tool for parents as they encourage computer usage by their children in a safe and enjoyable manner.”