Safer Internet Day: guide to the best free classroom resources

There is a wealth of material online for teachers. We’ve gathered the best and most relevant

Secondary school students at a recent Safer Internet Day event organised by Webwise.

Secondary school students at a recent Safer Internet Day event organised by Webwise.

 

They may be digital natives - but young people still need all the support they can get to stay safe online.

Internet safety and digital media literacy is playing an ever-bigger role in subjects such as Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) or Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE).

While there are lots of resources online, the choice can be bafffling. Most are not aligned with the Irish curriculum and quite a few are either outdated or questionable quality.

Some of the best and most relevant we’ve found are produced by Webwise, a State-funded organisation established to promote safer internet use.

It has produced several high quality classroom resources aimed at primary and secondary school teachers. Here’s our guide to the best resources available that are aligned to the school curriculum, who the target group is and what they consist of:

Connected
www.webwise.ie/connected/

A brand new resource for Junior Cycle students on developing digital media literacy skills. It explores topics including big data, privacy, rights online, misinformation and more.

The programme – called Connected - is due to be formally launched on Safer Internet Day (February 11th) 2020.

Target group: Junior Cycle students (1st to 3rd year)
Duration: Five taught modules, including one project based assessment
Skills: Digital media literacy

Html Heroes: An Introduction to the Internet
www.webwise.ie/html-heroes/

This is a new SPHE resource developed for 3rd and 4th class pupils. The resource will support primary school teachers and young people as they learn about safe and responsible use of the internet.

The online programme is specifically designed for primary school teachers who wish to introduce internet safety into their teaching of the SPHE curriculum. This education programme is developed to assist and support educators when teaching students about the safe and responsible use of the Internet.

There are eight interactive lessons which deal with some very important areas of technology and online use, including online gaming, screen time, fake news and online advertising.

The lessons are designed to help pupils develop digital media literacy skills, practice safe online communication as well as raising awareness about privacy and thinking about what you can trust online.

Target group: Primary school (3rd and 4th class)
Duration: Eight interactive lessons
Skills: Digital media literacy, online awareness

Be in Ctrl
www.webwise.ie/beinctrl/

This is a Junior Cycle SPHE educational resource addressing the issue of Online Sexual Coercion and Extortion. The resource includes information for school leaders, three lesson plans and is supported by the Garda School Programme. Teachers are free to adapt the resource depending on their class requirements. The Be in Ctrl resource complements the Lockers resource. It is recommended that Lockers is used in the SPHE class before the Be in Ctrl resource.

Target group: Junior Cycle students (1st to 3rd year)
Duration: Flexible
Skills: Online awareness, particularly of sexual coercion and extortion

Lockers
www.webwise.ie/lockers/

This is a SPHE resource developed to engage 2nd and 3rd year students on the topic of non-consensual image sharing. The resource includes two short high-quality animations, six lessons and information for school leaders.

Target group: Junior Cycle students (2nd and 3rd year)
Duration: Six lessons
Skills: Online awareness, particularly of non-consensual image sharing

#UP2US Anti-Bullying Kit
www.webwise.ie/up2us-2/

This is aimed at taking the first steps to beating bullying in your community. You can order a free kith which includes activities for addressing bullying, colourful stickers and supplies for creating interactive poster campaigns.

Also included is the #Up2Us Anti-Bullying Teachers’ Handbook with Junior Cycle SPHE lesson ideas.

Target group: Junior Cycle students (1st to 3rd year)
Skills: Awareness and proactiveness relating to online bullying

MySelfie and the Wider World
www.webwise.ie/teachers/my-selfie/

This Primary Anti-Cyber Bullying Teachers’ Handbook is an SPHE resource developed to engage 5th and 6th class primary school students on the topic of cyber bullying. A series of short animations are the centrepiece of the resource.

These are aimed at helping students develop the skills and understanding to be responsible, socially conscious and effective internet users, as they explore social networks for the first time.

Target group: Primary school (5th and 6th class)
Duration: Flexible
Skills: Online awareness, responsibility

Secondary school students at a recent Safer Internet Day event organised by Webwise.
Secondary school students at a recent Safer Internet Day event organised by Webwise.

Think B4U Click
https://www.webwise.ie/thinkb4uclick/

Developed with the ICCL, ThinkB4UClick is specifically designed for teachers of Junior Certificate CSPE. ThinkB4UClick explores the issue of online privacy in the context of online rights and responsibilities. The ultimate aim of this resource is to empower students to be effective, autonomous and safe users of new media.

Target group: Junior Cycle CSPE students (1st to 3rd year)
Duration: Flexible
Skills: Online awareness