Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day which is a really great opportunity to get pupils involved in activities that support their understanding of how to be safe online. Despite the importance of e-safety, it doesn’t always get the time it needs due to tight timetables and lack of teacher training.
To help with this ReallySchool have teamed up with our good friends GoBubble and eCadets, to launch some free resources for schools. Download these here: https://www.reallyschool.com/saferinternetday/
To add to that, here are some additional ideas to support you in the classroom.
- Find a baseline
Work out what the children know, what they access and how and when, before launching in to your talk. This ensures your pitch is relevant and gives you a chance to tease out and correct misconceptions. Plus, this helps you brush up on your own knowledge e.g. which websites and apps are most popular.
- Don’t be too negative
Teaching children to be safe and respectful online shouldn’t be about scaring them. Of course, you need to make them aware of the dangers but if you just demonise things like online gaming and social media you will have a few potential issues:
- Children will not approach you if they have problems as they will be worried about getting in to trouble.
- Children won’t be aware of the benefits of the online world and there are plenty.
- Children will continue to use things like social media, so if you just say no instead of teaching how and why, they will be vulnerable when they do use them.
- You won’t have the opportunity to introduce the alternatives e.g. GoBubble a safe online communication platform for pupils.
- Ask for help
If you are not confident teaching this subject it is essential, you ask for help. The teaching you give about e-safety has a real impact on pupils so it should be accurate, helpful, relevant and comprehensive.
- Active learning
Give pupils time to talk but also time to do. Your pupils will switch off if they are not active in their learning and won’t retain the information unless they get a chance to use it.
There are plenty of free activities and resources online but here are some ideas to get you started.
Your pupils could….
- Make e-safety posters for parents and/or other classes (these can be displayed round school)
- Record e-safety videos for parents and/or other classes (shared via a solution like ReallySchool)
- Role play situations that might happen online and how they could solve them
- Take part in an e-safety quiz or get pupils to create their own
- Create a class assembly about e-safety to share with another year group/whole school
- Create an e-safety song using their ideas for how to keep safe online- record an audio clip to share with others in school and/or parents
- Create some class rules about how to be safe online and use equipment appropriately while in school
- Vote for some in class e-safety monitors who could take the lead in supporting their peers
- Create an e-safety superhero
- Learn about the history of technology e.g. when the internet was invented, why and how it’s changed
- Design an app- What would their app do, how would children use it, how could they use it safely and respectfully?
There are many great texts out there but I have chosen few specific ones that worked well for me when teaching about e-safety.
Penguinpig by Stuart Spendlow
Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis
Webster’s Email, Webster’s Friend, and Webster’s Manners all by Hannah Whaley
UK Safer Internet Centre https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2019
NSPCC (Online Safety) https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
Child Net https://www.childnet.com/resources