Working with children, you will know how much the internet entertains and interests them. But how can we support children in using the internet safely and positively? Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally on 5th February 2019. The aim is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.
The global theme calls on everyone to come ‘Together for a better internet.’ In the UK, our focus is on the issue of consent in a digital world – how children understand what consent means online and the challenges they face in asking for and giving their permission online between friends, family and the games, apps and services they use.
Last year over 1,770 organisations got behind the day, including 1,249 schools, and collectively we reached 3.3 million UK children. Most importantly, as a result of the day, the majority of children said they felt more confident about staying safe online and over half said they talked to their parents or carers about using the internet safely after hearing about Safer Internet Day.
Safer Internet Day provides an important opportunity to focus on the discussions you have with children you work with to empower them to use technology safely and positively and to create a real ‘buzz’ about this issue.
This year we already have almost 1000 organisations registered as supporters, and the day is set to be the biggest yet.
But how can childcare and early years practitioners get involved? Read our 4 ideas:
Run activities for the children you work with
Use our free Education Packs and SID TV films to run learning activities for the children in your care. The resources are tailored for 3-7s, 7-11s, 11-14s and 14-18s and include not just a lesson plan but also quick activities, films, posters and more. Our pack for teachers and educators provides more ideas too.
Taking the 3-7 pack as an example, in here you will find a range of activities to facilitate discussion with the youngest internet users using a variety of kinetic and visual learning techniques. Often, children of this age may not be fully aware of what the internet actually is, and so have no starting point from which to make sensible online choices. The pack also has activities to help children of this age understand the basics of what the internet allows us to do, and the consequences of our online choices.
Encourage children to take the lead
Safer Internet Day is a great way to listen and learn from children about their internet use, their attitudes and experiences about going online. Opening up conversations and trust is the first step to helping children to know how to use the internet safely.
- Create posters, quizzes and leaflets about online safety messages
- Create a set of conversation starters together for children to take home and discuss with their parents/carers, or use our pre-written examples.
- Work together on creating a list of people children could go to if they ever had a worry about something they’d experienced online
Get parents involved
As childcare and early years practitioners, you may already work very closely with the parents and carers of the children you support. Encouraging parents to follow up the discussions their children have on Safer Internet Day at home can help reinforce those essential online safety messages. Our Parents and Carers pack has more ideas on activities to run with children at home.
Showcase what you are doing
Help showcase the fantastic things you are doing for Safer Internet Day by joining hundreds of other organisations on our supporters list. Simply complete the registration form to receive your supporter certificate and showcase your own logo and plans on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.
You can also share your support and join the conversation at #SaferInternetDay2019 on social media. Together we can make #SID2019 the biggest yet!
If you would like to focus on online safety in your setting, and encourage children to reflect on their internet use, Safer Internet Day is the perfect day to celebrate what you might be doing already, or to try something new. It’s also a brilliant chance to engage with parents – it’s never too early to start those discussions about safe and positive internet use with their children. Our wide range of resource are there to help you deliver activities to any age of child you work with, whether you are an early years practitioner, childcare professional or a parent yourself.
Get involved and find out more at saferinternet.org.uk