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Safer Internet Day - 10th Feb 2015


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 08/02/2015. Safer Internet Day - 10th Feb 2015Tags: Parenting


Safer Internet Day, an EU wide initiative to promote a safer Internet for all users, especially young people, will be celebrated on Tuesday 10th of February 2015. This will be the twelfth year of the event and this year’s call to action is, ‘Let’s Create a Better Internet Together’.

Safer Internet Day is an EU initiative. It is promoted in Ireland by the Webwise internet safety initiative of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and aims to educate and raise awareness about protecting children online, so that they can responsibly enjoy the benefits of the Internet, without compromising their safety and privacy. 
 
Building on the success of last year’s Safer Internet Day #Up2Us campaign which saw over 65 schools across Ireland initiate their own anti-cyber bullying campaigns, a key component this year will be to encourage more students to start their own youth led Safer Internet Day actions. Celebrating Safer Internet Day in schools provides the ideal opportunity for schools to meet some of the requirements laid down by the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools in September 2013.

As more and more young people are using the Internet at a younger age, this year will see a large focus on the Internet and ‘Tweens’. Webwise will launch the ‘MySelfie – Primary Anti-Cyber Bullying on Safer Internet Day. ‘This is an innovative curriculum resource using a series of short animations which are intended to provide a starting point for classroom discussions around the emotions that drive bullying, the emotional impact that it has on victims, and how children can be agents for positive change in relation to bullying, especially cyber bullying. The animation is supported by a five lesson teaching resource on cyber bullying, targeted at 5th and 6th class primary SPHE students.

Speaking about Safer Internet Day 2015, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said:
 
“Children are going online at an increasingly young age with much of this activity taking place on personal devices and unsupervised. In this context, it is important that we implement educational strategies in primary schools which promote empowerment, critical thinking and respect for others. This curriculum resource will support efforts to teach children how to manage relationships, be resilient and have empathy for others.

The best way to address cyber bullying is to prevent it happening in the first place. This is a prevention and awareness raising resource that focuses on promoting appropriate online behaviour, on how to stay safe while online and also on developing a culture of reporting any concerns about cyber bullying."

Additional campaign elements of this year’s Safer Internet Day 2015 public awareness campaign include:
 

  • The Safer Internet Day 2015 launch event will be held in Dublin Castle on Monday, 9th of February. The event will be attended by education and technology industry professionals, parents associations, youth workers and school students. In addition, a selection of students and youth groups will showcase their Safer Internet Day projects.
     
     
  • SaferInternetDay.ie has a list of events and suggested classroom-based activities for marking Safer Internet Day.
     
  • Webwise.ie educates and promotes dialogue between children, teachers and parents on safe and appropriate use of the Internet and new media, to ensure that they are aware of the benefits of the Internet as well as its risk. The website contains a range of internet safety information, advice and tools.
     
  • WatchyourSpace.ie and social media channels – The ‘Watch your Space’ website developed by Webwise supports the efforts of young people in tackling the issue of online bullying in their schools and communities. ‘Watch your Space’ has lots of ideas on how to promote a more inclusive online environment. From interactive poster campaigns to RASK (Random Acts of Kindness) Days, this site highlights examples of best practice from schools around Ireland. The ‘Watch your Space’ Facebook and Twitter pages offer an additional outlet for teenagers to keep up to date with Safer Internet Day events and activities.  Check out www.watchyourspace.ie/@WatchYourSpace and  www.facebook.com/WatchYourSpace
     
  • The #Up2Us campaign, run through the Watch Your Space website and social media channels, originated in response to the Action Plan on Bullying. Developed in collaboration with the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel, the #Up2Us campaign empowers and supports young people as they take action to address bullying, in particular cyber bullying, in their local communities.
     
  • Safer Internet Day Ambassador Programme - An important aspect of anti-bullying prevention in schools is the active involvement of students in building a positive school climate. As a part of our Safer Internet Day 2015 campaign, Webwise is reaching out to post-primary students and encouraging and supporting them as they address the issue of cyber bullying by leading awareness raising campaigns in their clubs, schools, and communities


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