Safer Internet Day 2018

Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you!

That second day of the second week of the second month of the year sure does rush around fast these days, and as a CEOP Ambassador and also a 360 Degree Safe Assessor I’m getting quite booked up by schools in a frenzy to help their pupils (and wider community) understand something about the risks of the online world and how to help children avoid them!

Safer Internet Day Information graphic from
Safer Internet Day Information from

Safer Internet Day has been around since 2004, but has now risen to such a level of acceptance that I don’t know of a Primary School which doesn’t embrace it at some level.

Every year has a slightly different theme, and this year’s is ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you’.

The idea that the internet belongs to all of us, so we are all responsible for what’s there, is an interesting point for a discussion.   To help schools engage with pupils of all ages the UK Safer Internet Centre has created a range of resources, which focus on healthy online relationships and digital empathy, such as a Education Packs with engaging lesson plans, SID TV films, a quiz and advice pages.

Last year’s campaign reached 42% of all UK children, the aim is to make this year’s Safer Internet Day the biggest yet!

Resources for teachers can be downloaded from or you can find out more from the UK Safer Internet Centre at

If you, or your school, are active on social networks then why not sign up for the Thunder Clap.  The idea is to flood social media with the message about Safer Internet Day.  You can find out more at

Online Safety

Another Safer Internet Day has been and gone and it’s boosted my ‘number of children trained’ (and number of adults) for CEOP via the think-you-know website considerably (boosting the number of children I’ve trained to over 3400).

Having spent some time over the summer fully absorbing Ofsted’s new ‘Online Safety Standards’ (read more at I have incorporated chunks of that document plus the BBC Newsround research announced on Safer Internet Day into my presentations.  Whilst I was at it I have also been through all of my presentations and paperwork chasing away the remaining references to ‘e-safety’ to replace it with ‘Online Safety’ as recommended by Ofsted.  To be honest I was ahead of the game having adopted ‘Online Safety’ as the new name for ‘e-safety’ some years ago following conversations with 360 Safe assessors about how confusing the name e-safety was to parents!

There are a growing number of Oxfordshire schools engaging with the 360 Safe matrix and quite a few now actively working towards the 360 safe mark.  Many schools are also taking to heart the need to keep all staff updated on Online Safety issues with annual trainning and updates.

Staying safe online by being SMART

It is a modern day life skill which no-one who uses technology can afford to be without.  The internet pervades all that we do, it underpins most of the 21st century technology in our homes and offices.

From smart phones that automatically back up your photos to the cloud (something that certain celebraties will wish didn’t actually happen now) to Central heating thermostats which you can control from your iPad.  Modern devices are increasingly interconnected via the web.

21st Century technology users need to be tech-savy!  They need skills to avoid making costly or embarrassing mistakes!

There are websites which give advice and support to children and their parents such as think-u-know from CEOP. There are podcasts such as security today and there are myriad blogs choked full of advice but a good dollop of common sense and healthy scepticism would make the journey through today’s technology a far safer one for many people.

Smart people follow the SMART rules!


S – SAFE – keep your personal information safe, don’t share it with people you don’t really know.

M – MEETING – if you plan to meet people you only know online get an adult you trust to help make the arrangements AND to go with you when you first meet.

A – ACCEPTING – think carefully before accepting attachments, opening links etc.  Nasty things can come in attachments or from rouge web links, even from people you know and trust.

R – RELIABLE – how reliable is that website, that person online?

T – TELL – the MOST important rule.  If anything makes you feel uncomfortable online then you must tell an adult you trust or talk to someone at Childine or click the Report Abuse button online.  If you have a friend that you believe is being bullied you must also tell someone!\

Find out more about the Smart Rules from Kidsmart

Download a poster for your classroom or home from HERE!



Vital’s Report – E-safety and Bullying

Vital commissioned an internet safety report – see the key findings

Vital commissioned an internet safety survey of teachers in January 2012 in conjunction with NFER. Over 1300 teachers responded about e-safety, cyberbullying, social networking and the impact of the growing number of pupils carrying smartphones. Some of the key findings are summarised on the page linked at the top.

E-safety for Secondary Schools

A set of e-safety products has been created especially for secondary schools. They can be accessed from
Quote from the website:
The Know IT All Secondary Toolkit. provides educators with a range of ready to go e-safety resources for use with secondary aged pupils. Browse, download and personalise the range of downloadable lesson plans, films, games, PowerPoint presentations and more, covering:

Skills School
Safer Social Networking
Digital Citizenship
Perfect Passwords

Teaching Children About Staying Safe on the Internet

This week we have something new on BuzzingEd – a GUEST blogger…  Natalie Hunter grew up wanting to be a teacher, and is addicted to learning and research. She is fascinated by the different methodologies for education at large today, and particularly by the advent of online education.

Teaching internet safety is both a challenge and an opportunity for parents and educators. Children are increasingly active online and are more likely than ever to encounter some dangerous situations. Learning how to handle these events will not only help them stay safe but also teach them critical thinking skills that will be useful throughout their lives. Instead of worrying about the safety of ventures onto the web, the adults in a child’s life need to teach him or her how to avoid danger and how to deal with uncomfortable situations when they arise.

Some parents and teachers simply use parental controls to limit a child’s access to internet sites that may be inappropriate. However, this does not teach children to think for themselves, and it will not necessarily keep them safe on the web. Today’s youngsters are generally more computer savvy than their parents and even their teachers, especially if they go to school online and have a familiarity with that sort of interaction. They learn from other kids how to get around barriers. The best way to keep them within safe boundaries is to teach them to think before they type.

Another skill that every child should learn is how to summon aid when she feels threatened. They need to know that getting help right away is the correct thing to do, and that they need never feel embarrassed about having done so. In the end, each child’s safety depends on learning guidelines for security and being able to apply them in any situation. This is the education the children cannot do without.

For children ages 7 to 10, the BBC has developed an educational site about web safety that parents or teachers can use with kids. This site has a mnemonic for teaching internet safety associated with the word “SMART:”

S: Keep Safe. Don’t give out personal information such as name, address, any telephone number (including mobile), email address, school name or friends’ names. Keep passwords and nicknames undisclosed. Make up a screen name that isn’t related to any real life information. Don’t send text or photo messages to people you don’t know, because your mobile number goes with them.

M: Don’t Meet Up. Never agree to meet an online friend, even ones that are longstanding. If this isn’t avoidable, take a trusted adult along.

A: Accepting Emails Can Be Dangerous. Always delete email from someone you don’t know. If you do open an email that says something that makes you uncomfortable or tells you to download something, tell a trusted adult. Likewise, don’t accept text messages or open links on a mobile phone from people you don’t know.

R: Reliable? People on the web may not be who they say they are. Information you get in a message or find while using mobile phone might not be reliable.
 Think of how easily you can play pretend on the internet; how much so for anyone else!

T: Tell Someone. Always tell a trusted adult straightaway if you feel uncomfortable or worried about what someone said online. Report the person if there is an alert button on the site. Then log off and leave the website.

For older children and teens, you can visit the website of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General for a set of age appropriate tips on how to avoid harassment, victimization and exploitation online. The discussion covers commercialisation and other issues that teenagers may not be aware of. This is a good educational site for children and adults alike who use the internet and are not aware of all the implications. Another site parents and educators can use to teach internet safety is The site includes videos and lesson plans for primary, intermediate, middle school, and high school classrooms. The site is sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (U.S.A.).

Much of internet safety depends on protecting privacy. With adequate and reliable information, parents and educators can work with children to develop safe and appropriate ways of using the web. The skills gained in this process are vital for internet safety and can also carry over into other areas of learning. Thinking critically and applying sensible rules will help children stay secure not only on the web but everywhere they go.


An older site, but one which is worth highlighting!

Fakebook ( is a face-book-like site where teachers can create FAKE profiles for fictional or historical characters for study purposes.  There are some SUPERB profiles and exchanges already on the site (though they are hard to find!) but teachers can add their own.  It makes for a unique way to explore some historical events in a way that today’s pupils will find engaging and easy to understand, it can also be used to really get under the skin of fictional characters too!  Another use may be as a tool for esafety discussions.  Well worth taking a look at.

One of my favourite Fakebook Characters is Josef Stalin who’s “wall” can be found at

Reflections on Learning Without Frontiers 2011 part 2

Some educational bloggers have been extreamly busy getting their thoughts and ideas down, this post brings you a few of these links.

Ewan McIntosh has been very busy, not only has he been posting his thoughts on Karen Cator (as posted HERE) but he has also been reflecting on a great sound bite “Stop sorting children by their date of manufacture” which is a post relecting on the experience of the newly formed Essa Academy who have provided hand-held devices to ALL students and staff.  He has also been reflecting on the session presented by Dr. William Rankin where he outlined Quite possibly the best virtual learning environment in the world.  Ewan has also been busy sharing ideas for handheld translation tools as details in his blog post Mobile As A Lens On The World: Word Lens instant translation as well as taking a look at iPad for Learning for All the Wrong Reasons.

More posts following LWF to come soon!


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