Last Tuesday (February 7th) marked ‘Safer Internet Day’ around the world. As internet use is becoming more and more common amongst our children, this day has taken on particular significance in recent times. In this blog post, I will attempt to showcase resources that will allow you to ensure that ‘SID’ is not simply an annual event, but a key part of your digital instruction.
A research study commissioned by the National Advisory Council for Online Safety in 2021 found that at least 62% of children (between 9 and 17) were using social media tools. The infographic included below gives a staggering insight into ‘what happens in an internet minute’.
Resources for Online Safety in Junior Classes
The teaching of online safety and digital citizenship in the junior classes is extremely important, as the research (and anecdotal evidence) shows that children are consuming online content before they reach school. WebWise have a number of excellent resources and the HTML Heroes programme is well pitched for students in 1st and 2nd class. The videos take an age-appropriate look at internet safety issues, with comprehensive teacher resource packs also available. ‘Thinkuknow’ are a UK based service, which provide bespoke internet safety videos and lessons for children between the ages of 4 and 10. ‘Jessie and Friends’ cover content for children between 4 and 7, while ‘Play – Like – Share’ covers content from 8 to 10 years. ‘Digi-Duck’ is also a useful resource, which explores online safety through storybooks for children.
Resources for Online Safety in Senior Classes
WebWise also have offerings for older children in the form of HTML Heroes (3rd and 4th class) and ‘My Selfie and the Wider World’ (5th and 6th class). One of my favourite resources comes from ‘Common Sense Education’. A comprehensive suite of resources are provided here around digital citizenship, being safe online and identifying reliable sources of information. Each session comes with a detailed lesson plan, slides, resources and learning activities. The sample below comes from a lesson entitled ‘Who Are You Online?’
WebWise have a number of bespoke ‘Safer Internet Day’ resources on their website. They work in close collaboration with PDST Technology in Education, who have recently released a recorded webinar around Safer Internet Day, available here.