NYCI is delighted to support Safer Internet Day! We all have a role to play in helping to empower and support children and young people to use the internet and digital technologies safely, responsibly, and positively. Each year, thousands of people in Ireland play their part by participating in the Safer Internet Day celebrations. The internet is an integral part of the lives of children and young people, so NYCI believes it is vital we support safe and responsible usage in the online world.
Did you know the top three worries of children and young people online are ‘An embarrassing picture or video being shared around or going viral’, ‘mean messages or being excluded from groups by friends you know’, and ‘mean messages from strangers online in games or on social media (Barnardos, 2020 “Online Safety Survey Results Summary Report)?
This year for Safer Internet Day, Webwise is running a campaign promoting respect and empathy online. Thousands of children and young people in youth services and schools are running events and activities to promote a safer, better internet and encourage everyone to report online bullying and abuse. Your device may be a #silentwitness, but you don’t have to be!
Here in NYCI, we want to empower young people to be effective, autonomous, and safe users of technology and online media. NYCI’s Child Protection Programme partnered with Webwise to adapt their Connected: An Introduction to Digital Media Literacy programme for youth workers to provide a resource that contains information, workshops, and practical activities that can be used by youth workers and volunteers in their work with young people. The programme comprises four workshops that youth workers and volunteers can use to explore online well-being, false information, big data, and young people’s rights online with the young people they work with. The aim of this programme is to help young people develop the skills to think critically about how they use the internet and to be responsible digital citizens.
NYCI’s Child Protection Programme has also developed an Online Safety and Awareness in Youth Work eLearning course course specifically for youth workers and volunteers working with young people. This eLearning introduces key topics in online safety and addresses the challenges that young people may face online. This eLearning aims to increase youth workers’ and volunteers’ awareness of online safety and digital literacy so they feel better equipped to have conversations with and support young people to be responsible digital citizens who participate online in ethical, collaborative, and respectful ways.
Share what you’re doing this Safer Internet Day to promote a safer, better internet!