This article was originally posted on the UK Safer Internet Centre Website
For Safer Internet Day 2020, we have created a range of educational resources which are designed for educators to deliver with young people aged 3-18 years old, including specific resources tailored for use with 7-11 year olds.
Safer Internet Day 2020 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 11th February with the slogan ‘Together for a Better Internet’. In the UK, the day will be celebrated with a specific focus on identity online.
About Safer Internet Day 2020
In the UK, we choose an annual theme that we think best suits the current landscape of online safety and the issues that young people may face online. This year, we are encouraging young people to explore how they manage their online identity and think about how the internet shapes their view of themselves and others.
We will look at whether the internet allows young people to experiment and express themselves, or if they feel limited in who they can be online, and how offline stereotypes and discrimination are challenged or reinforced online. By opening up conversations around online identity, we aim to inspire young people to support each other in being who they want to be, to celebrate difference, and help work towards creating a truly inclusive internet.
Each year, to help schools to celebrate Safer Internet Day, we create a range of educational resources that look at the theme in a way that is suitable for children and young people of different ages.
Specific resources for use with 7-11 year olds
The resources for 7-11 year olds explore the UK theme of online identity by focusing on the importance of respect and reputation when navigating the digital world. Amongst the resources available are a lesson plan and an assembly, with accompanying script. These tackle different scenarios young people of this age may face online and explore how they can create and manage their identity online in a safe and positive way. There is also a selection of both quick activities and activities which can be used in whole school or community settings.
There is also an accompanying film which is designed for use with 5-11 year olds. This short film for use with primary-aged children looks at a group of their peers creating avatars online and discussing the choices they make about how they represent themselves.
Key learning outcomes for 3-7 year olds
The key focus of these resources is the choices young people face online in terms of representing their own identity, protecting their personal information, and where they can go for help if something worries them online. The pack seeks to empower young people to think about their online identity, using the online world to create a space where they are comfortable, kind and having fun.
Young people engaging in the activities for 7-11 year olds will think about the meaning of identity in an online context. They will recognise that freedom of expression online is important for everyone and that we must express our own freedom in a way that doesn’t impact on someone else’s. They will also understand how online identity can mask a person’s true identity and what they can do if they see something online which doesn’t seem right.
Activities from this pack to highlight
This pack includes an assembly suitable to deliver to large groups of 7-11 year olds, as well as an accompanying to script to help delivery of the key messages. The assembly asks children to think about the things online that contribute to their identity, and to play ‘online identity detectives’ to recognise how to keep their personal information safe online, whilst still expressing themselves freely.
Following on from these discussions, children are asked to consider whether online identities are an excuse to act in any way they choose and reflect on the responsibility having an online identity brings.
Guidance for educators
We have also created a guidance pack for the people delivering the Safer Internet Day messages in your school, youth group, or other setting.
This gives further advice about how to mark Safer Internet Day, information about how to handle disclosures and sensitive topics, as well as details on how you can spread the word.
Join hundreds of organisations across the UK
For Safer Internet Day 2019, our education packs were downloaded over a million times, with teachers explaining the positive impact these lessons had on their pupils.
One teacher said:
“All of the classes engaged well with their particular tasks and really enjoyed sharing it with the parents. It gave us the chance to have the parents in and we ran two follow-up workshops with parents too.” - Primary school teacher, Manchester
You can link up with the wider campaign taking place across the UK – and globally in over 130 countries – by joining the social media campaign and registering as an official supporter.
Simply complete our registration form on our website to become an official supporter and receive your supporter certificate, and get involved with our social media activities by using the hashtags #SaferInternetDay and #freetobe.
Visit www.saferinternetday.org.uk for: