Tuesday 11th February was Safer Internet Day which is acknowledged worldwide and used to highlight how to use the internet safely and appropriately. The theme this year was ‘free to be me’ with a focus on online identity. This meant looking at how people can be untruthful online and the consequences of that as well as advocating for tolerance and compassion to allow people to be open about who they really are.
At Durrington High School the computing department themed KS3 lessons on the day to be centred around this subject. Students looked at short videos that opened up discussions about why people are often ‘fake’ when using social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. They also took part in a quiz which asked them if they agreed or disagreed with statements such as ‘I prefer the online world to the real world’ and ‘I always post the trust online no matter what people think.’ The varied answers from students prompted interesting discussions.
Students were also invited to take some time to think about their own identity and what they would be willing to share online. Each student wrote down their thoughts in an outline of a head and shoulders which were collected together. The answers included factual information such as ‘sister’ and ‘brother’ but also their passions and attributes such as ‘bookworm’ and ‘loyal.’
Claire Taylor, Head of Business, Computer Science and ICT, said ‘Safer Internet Day provides a great opportunity to engage our students in thinking about their safety online. It is something we are always educating our students about as it is such a vital part of modern life, but to have a whole lesson to focus on it is really valuable.’
During the day resources provided by Safer Internet Day were shared on the school’s social media channels to engage parents and carers in the conversation. It is important to have open communication with young people about their lives online and the resources can help with starting that conversation. You can find them all here. Our LRA Manager Mrs Baker also shared a list of recommended books that can be useful in exploring the online world which you can find here.