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), part of the Department of Education, 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.
On Safer Internet Day, Webwise, the online safety initiative of the Department of Education highlights key resources and advice available to help students manage their online wellbeing and #BeKindOnline.
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said:
On Safer Internet Day it is important that all the partners in education come together and commit to making the internet a safer and kinder place for children and young people. I wish to acknowledge the continued endeavour of Webwise who ensure that digital resources, information and important advice is available to our young learners to allow them to enjoy a safe online experience.
National Director of the Department’s Professional Development for Teachers, PDST, Ciara O’Donnell said:
Children and young people have faced many challenges in the last twelve months and have shown great resilience in adapting to new learning environments. With technology being such a prominent part of everyday life, helping children and young people develop skills to navigate the online world safely and to manage their wellbeing in this regard, has never been more important. The focus for Safer Internet Day this year is to highlight key online safety resources and advice available to schools, teachers, parents and young people via webwise.ie.
On Safer Internet Day Webwise broadcasted a webinar for post-primary students on managing online wellbeing. The event provided an opportunity to hear about the experiences of figures from the world of entertainment, sport, cyberpsychology and the tech industry. Joining the discussion was 2FM’s Eoghan McDermott, Cyberpsychologist; Dr Nicola Fox-Hamilton, Public Policy Lead for Kids and Families at Google; Dr Alicia Blum-Ross, All Ireland winning Dublin Footballer Eamon Fennell and Billie Constantinou, a student at Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise and member of the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel.
The event was streamed online as part of the Safer Internet Day promotions on Tuesday, 9 February via Webwise.ie and can be found on the Webwise Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts should you wish to play it back.
Online wellbeing was also the focus of the Webwise Safer Internet Day Ambassador Programme which involved 165 post-primary students and teachers from across Ireland. Today these second-level students will lead online safety initiatives in their own school communities to promote online wellbeing and internet safety.
Webwise has also developed a new campaign titled the Full Picture comprising a short video exploring how young people use social media. The film highlights the influences and pressures young people face online and encourages them to see the full picture. The campaign is also supported by advice, information and supports which can be used by schools, educators, teens and parents for Safer Internet Day 2021.
In 2020, Webwise disseminated almost 30,000 education resources to schools across Ireland and almost 100,000 students, teachers and parents are expected to participate in Safer Internet Day 2021.
National Director of PDST, Ciara O’Donnell added:
Safer Internet Day 2021 may look a little different this year in this current climate, but getting involved is easier and more important than ever. Webwise has created a list of remote and socially distanced Safer Internet Day activities that people can use in order to play their part in creating a better online world.”
Along with ideas for #SID2021, this resource includes templates, videos and presentations that individuals, schools and organisations can tailor to their specific needs.
The Full Picture Campaign: https://www.webwise.ie/thefullpicture/
About the Irish Safer Internet Centre (SIC)
The Irish SIC is a partnership of four leading organisations with a mission to make the Internet a better place for children and young people, under the coordination of Cybercrime, Department of Justice. The programme partners include:
- Awareness and Education: Webwise (PDST Technology in Education)
- Helplines: ISPCC Childline and the National Parents Council Primary
- Hotline: Hotline.ie