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Safer Internet Day 2016, play your part

Today is Safer Internet Day, which is being marked globally by the theme: 'Play your part for a better Internet'

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | February 09, 2016 | Technology

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

Safer Internet Day 2016 calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, and policymakers to join together in helping to create a better internet.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) will support the event by sharing its ‘top tips’ via @sqanews about staying safe online and provide links to useful learning resources available via its online community and learning platform, Ushare.

Last year, SQA launched a series of Cyber Security awards which develop digital resilience skills and knowledge in learners. The new courses enable learners to identify, understand and manage the host of online threats organisations and individuals face on a daily basis. The new qualifications are the first of their kind to be available to school-age learners; as well as those studying in college or learning through an employer or a training provider.

E-safety in the news 

In January, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced the launch of a new website Educate Against Hate, which offers parents, teachers and school leaders advice and resources to protect children from extremism.

“Schools can pick up those behavioural changes which may signal that a student is being radicalised before their peers or even their parents have spotted them,” she explained, adding: “That is why it is so important that schools see protecting children from radicalisation as part of their safeguarding duties. I know that the vast majority of staff in schools do this already and want to play their part. And I want Educate Against Hate to become a tool that helps them do that.”

Revolutionise teaching 

Each year hundreds of primary and secondary schools get involved in the day, running activities in the classroom, putting on assemblies, holding parent sessions or getting involved in the Safer Internet Day social media campaign.  As a result, last year, Safer Internet Day 2015 reached 25% of 11-16s, with a third of those going on to change their behaviour – an incredible figure for a one-day campaign. 

“The Internet continues to revolutionise teaching in UK classrooms, but it’s equally important that in an always-on world, children are using it safely,” said Samantha Blyth, Director of UK Schools at learning management platform, Canvas. 

She added: “When integrated effectively, three quarters of teachers agree that tech makes their jobs easier – and then becomes an enabler for learning. This is why it’s so important teachers and schools have the confidence and right tools available to them to create safe and engaging lessons, which will ultimately create better outcomes.”

Blyth offers her top tips for staying safe when using digital technology to learn:

1.     Online learning tools should be adaptable, safe and evolve with the schools ICT environment
2.     Ensure all users, staff and pupils, understand their e-security obligations and responsibilities through appropriate training. Part of this could involve pupils being able to discuss any concerns in the safe environment of their school, rather than learning difficult lessons in the real world 
3.     Digital technology policies should always be kept up to date
4.     Responsibility must be shared across the entire institution to make sure networks are kept safe and secure
5.     Schools should set up controls to filter, monitor and restrict content 

To help schools and youth groups deliver activities for children, young people and parents and carers on Safer Internet Day 2016 the UK Safer Internet Centre has developed Safer Internet Day education packs.

For more ideas about how to get involved visit:

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