Ready for Safer Internet Day 2016?

Written by: Laura Jennings | Published:
Photo: iStock

Safer Internet Day 2016 takes place on February 9 and this year’s theme is ‘Play your part for a better internet’. Laura Jennings explains more

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day sees hundreds of schools and organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

To inspire schools to get involved, the UK Safer Internet Centre has developed education packs to help teachers deliver activities for children, young people and parents and carers.This year the packs aim to empower young people to celebrate diversity online in order to inspire a kind, respectful and inclusive internet, and help raise awareness about the issue of online hate and ensure no child is ever targeted online for being different.

This is explored through posters, assembly presentations with scripts, drama activities, quick activities, full lesson plans and films.

The films, which have been produced as part of SID TV, accompany the education packs and include real-life stories, expert perspectives and feature puppets and poems to make the information digestible, relatable and fun. All the resources, including the education packs, can be found on the website (see further information for all links).

Ideas for Safer Internet Day

There are plenty of ideas for how teachers can use the secondary education packs to run Safer Internet Day activities. In the classroom, teachers can use the real-life stories in the secondary lesson plan to help young people explore how people communicate online and the impact of their words on other people’s feelings.

The films include Tamanna’s Story, a young campaigner speaking on issues of racism, Rebecca’s Story, a young person supporting other young people to deal with issues like bullying, and Liv’s Story, a young person sharing her positive and negative experiences on the internet due to her disability.

For a quick activity teachers can use the scenarios in the secondary quick activities to help young people to consider how best to word their online communications so as to ensure they do not offend others or have their messages misunderstood.

Furthermore, assemblies in the week of February 9 could focus on how we all have a role to play to make the internet a better place. Use the ready-to-go assembly and script for secondary schools, including a film that highlights that we all have a choice about what we share online – or why not support pupils to deliver their own assemblies?

New this year, our whole-school activities aim to get everyone involved in Safer Internet Day. This includes our #shareaheart social media campaign, a positive commenting activity and ideas for a question wall.

Schools can also display the Safer Internet Day posters and can reach out to parents using the Safer Internet Day parent pack, which includes a template letter, resources and a ready-to-use presentation.

#shareaheart

To help spread the love and promote respect and kindness online on Safer Internet Day, the UK Safer Internet Centre is encouraging schools to take part in the #shareaheart social media campaign.

Whether it is a positive message in the UK Safer Internet Centre’s specially designed heart signs, a post filled with heart emojis, or something more creative, there are lots of ways you can get involved.

Remember to share your heart message, image or video on social media on February 9 using the hashtag #shareaheart. You can also:

  • Display the Safer Internet Day banner, logo or widget on your school website, and link to the UK Safer Internet Centre
  • Help kick-start a day of trending on social media and promote respect and kindness online by joining the Safer Internet Day social media “Thunderclap”.
  • Help spread the word on social media using #SID2016 and @UK_SIC
  • Schools can also submit their own logos and share what they are doing for Safer Internet Day by registering as a Safer Internet Day Supporter (you will receive a supporter’s certificate for your school).

Advice for young people

  1. Be kind: Show respect for others online. Nasty behaviour online hurts just as much as unkind behaviour offline.
  2. Be supportive. Look out for your friends and family online and help others to use technology safely.
  3. Report it. There is support available on the services you’re using. Report anything or anyone that upsets you or others online, and speak to a trusted adult.

Advice for parents and carers

Get the conversation started! The best way to keep your family safe online is to engage with your child’s digital life and regularly talk to them about staying safe online.

To help parents and carers have a conversation with their child on Safer Internet Day 2016 the UK Safer Internet Centre has published five “conversation starters”:

  1. Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
  2. Ask your child to tell you how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is okay and not okay to share?
  3. Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
  4. Encourage your child to do a good digital deed to help others. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend that would benefit from their help and support.
  5. Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online?

More conversation starters can be found in the Safer Internet Day parents pack on the website.

Advice for teachers

Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity for teachers to think about their online reputation.
Your professional reputation is clearly valuable to your current and future career and consequentially managing your online reputation is an essential part of being a teacher. When using social networks, it is important to:

  1. Think before you post. Teachers are required to uphold the reputation of the school, therefore it is always important to think carefully before making any posts, status updates or having discussions regarding the school, its staff, pupils or parents in an online environment.
  2. Use strong passwords. Having a strong password reduces the risk of others accessing your accounts. Always log out of any accounts you are using and delete any cookies. Make sure all of your devices are password-protected.
  3. Monitor your “digital identity”. Be mindful of how you present yourself when you are choosing a profile image, or even when joining a group or “liking” pages – think about what these choices say about you. Searching your name regularly on public search engines can be a useful way to monitor your online content.
  4. If you have a cyber-bullying/digital safety concern, contact the Professionals Online Safety Helpline: 0844 381 4772 or helpline@saferinternet.org.uk
  • Laura Jennings is communications officer with Childnet International. The UK Safer Internet Centre is coordinated by a partnership of Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation.

Links and resources

All the referenced resources, including the Safer Internet Day Education Packs, SID TV and social media campaign information can be found on the official website at www.saferinternetday.org.uk

For the specific secondary-related downloads, go to


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