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Safer Internet Day 2023

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This year the topic for Safer Internet Day is ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’ with the aim of answering questions such as:

  • What issues really matter to children and young people?
  • What changes do they want to see?
  • How can we all work together to advocate for them moving forward?

How to encourage conversation about online safety with your students

It’s important in this digital world to invite regular conversation around internet related topics, especially when it comes to online safety. Normalising talking about daily experiences on the internet will encourage students to get used to talking about life online.

Firstly when approaching this topic, you must allow students to speak freely with no judgement. People can’t learn without making mistakes, and online safety is difficult to navigate as it is forever changing.

Conversion points

Ask them questions about their interests online, this can get young people to engage with you as they will be excited about speaking about things they are interested in.

Ask questions like:

  • What sites do you like to visit?
  • What do you use the internet for?
  • What do you like to do online?
  • What don’t you like about going online?

You can also ask them what knowledge they already have about safety online?

  • What shouldn’t you share online?
  • When should you get help?
  • How do you get help?

Make it anonymous

Keeping submissions anonymous allows young people to feel more safe in sharing things that they may not be comfortable saying to you or in front of peers. Collecting these concerns or questions can then allow you to address them with your class and not single someone out.

One way of doing this is to ask pupils to submit questions/concerns via online form or physical box. Not only does this allow anonymity, if your students think of a question or have come across a concern outside of your designated discussion time, they can submit this so that it can be discussed, either with the class or individually.

These activities can help you determine education points that you, the school, students and parents may need to build knowledge on. This can also highlight trends and concerns to watch out for, and can aid in making updates to your filtering and monitoring policies.

If you would like any further guidance, The Exa Foundation runs in person and online sessions on topics such as online safety for more information visit the website here. 

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