Tuesday, February the 12th sees this year’s Safer Internet Day which is organised by Insafe, a network of 23 nodes in 21 countries funded through the EU Safer Internet Programme, and is aimed at children and younger Internet users. Each year a series of events are run to promote safer use of the internet and draw younger people’s attention to the skills required to use computers and the internet as safely as possible.
This year the theme for Safer Internet Day is “Life online is what YOU make of IT” and is aimed at helping young people better understand the impact the online world can have on their lives, both positively and negatively.
The big success to last year’s Safer Internet Day, as in previous years, was the worldwide “blogathon” where postings and comments were encouraged from visitors, children, schools and parents. The Blog helped raise awareness amongst young people on the important areas of e-privacy, netiquette, and power of image.
This year there will be another worldwide “blogathon” based on this year’s theme. You are encouraged to participate and share your views on “Life online is what YOU make of IT”.
The local node here in Ireland for Insafe is the National Centre for Technology in Education and they have organised a number of events including;
Irish Internet Safety Youth Forum
The work of the NCTE in this area is based on knowledge about how children use these technologies. For this reason we are delighted to involve young people in our work by establishing a youth forum where young people can express their views and exchange knowledge and experiences concerning their use of online technologies. The first Irish Internet Safety Youth Forum on safer internet day will take place in the Clock Tower in the Department of Education on Tuesday 12th Feb at 10.30am. This forum will address issues related to risks, experiences and precautions taken in using mobile phones and social networking sites. Children will be asked to contribute to policy development and design of awareness raising actions, tools and materials.
Watch Your Space 2008 Survey – Irish Children’s Use of Social networking Websites
On Safer Internet day the NCTE will release the findings from the latest survey of Irish children’s use of social networking websites carried out in January 2008.
Safer Internet Day Blogathon
This year’s the blogathon provides an opportunity for people around the globe to engage with the topic of internet safety. Postings will be made in a geographical east to west progression throughout Safer Internet Day (SID); this progression will be depicted on an animated map. The blog will close at midnight on 12th February 2007, and then remain open for comments for the following week until 20th February; all comments will be moderated by the Insafe team and the person who made the commented posting. In Ireland contributions to the Blogathon will be;
- An Internet Safety comic strip
- Contributions from the participants of an Internet Safety Workshop for children in Sligo Education Centre
- A summary of the findings from the 2008 Watch Your Space – Survey of Irish Children’s Use of Social Networking websites
BH Consulting Involvement
As in previous years BH Consulting will be supporting Safer Internet Day. We believe that educating young people on how to behave safely and securely in the online world will prove beneficial to them and the organisations they will work for once they move into adulthood.
Other Useful Resources
If Internet child safety is a concern for you, the following resources may also prove useful;
The Internet Advisory Board have published a booklet for parents to help them appreciate Internet safety called “Get with IT”. It is quite good and includes a useful list of resources at the end.
There is also the Webwise site which has a good range of resources, such as a 20 minute video and also information on social networking sites.
Other useful websites
http://www.tuki.com/ – a child friendly browser
If you want to report child related contect that you think may be illegal then contact Hotline.