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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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Is DarkLight connectivity best suited to you?

Dark fibre is perfect if you are looking for a potentially limitless, ultrafast connection with complete flexibility and control.

If you fully rely on the internet, a dark fibre connection could be the best option for you.

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Leased Lines are best suited to you if you have high bandwidth requirements and need a reliable, uncontended service.

It is ideal for you if you regularly carry out large uploads and downloads, use cloud based services and a VoIP telephone system as well as video conferencing, for everyday communication.

Is GPON connectivity best suited to you?

GPON is a great choice for you if you need gigabit speeds but don’t need them to be symmetrical. It is becoming more widely available across the UK but may not be immediately available to you yet.

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If you want to make the move to full fibre, but are based in a rural area, this option is for you.

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If you have a number of users who use cloud-based applications to upload and download data on a daily basis, but don’t transfer large amounts of data, FTTP might be your best option.

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If your line cannot support a minimum of 100Mbps, this connection is not for you. Gfast must meet the speed as a minimum. 

If your line meets this need, and you’re looking for an ultrafast, consistent and reliable connection without the hassle and upheaval of construction work – this could be a good fit.

It’s worth noting that Gfast is a stop gap to FTTP, and is not a technology that is likely to be around for a long time.

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If you need more bandwidth but don’t really need a guaranteed speed, FTTC could be for you. It is widely available throughout the UK, making it suitable as a main connection. As this connection provides higher speeds than ADSL, it is also a good option for a back up to a leased line.

As with ADSL, once the PSTN is turned off in 2025/26, FTTC will become virtually obsolete and at the very least you will require FTTP to remain connected.



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DSL connections offer very limited bandwidth so it might be right for you if you typically use the internet for less data-intensive tasks. If you’re sending emails, browsing the web, downloading very small files and working with small amounts of data – you should be fine with DSL.

It is worth noting connections based on copper wire, like DSL, will be switched off in the UK by Openreach, with a phased approach due to begin at the end of 2025. If you don’t have a fibre connection at the moment, you’ll need to upgrade this as well as move to a VoIP telephone system.

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