Childnet Digital Leaders take part in Safer Internet Day 2018

15 Feb 2018 Becca Cawthorne

The Stanburn Primary School Digital Leaders tell us about their time at the Safer Internet Day event in London.

I am so lucky to be a Digital Leader and have represented my school (Stanburn Primary School) in the most amazing experience of a lifetime – my BEST day ever. For our first Safer Internet Day since qualifying as digital leaders we were fortunate enough to be one of four schools attending the Safer Internet Day event at the BT Centre in London, on Tuesday 6th February. The other schools were Marner Primary, Acklam Grange, and Canon’s High. Throughout the day we participated in various activities related to this year’s theme: Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you.

To start off our day we split into two groups and took part in different activities. For the first activity we were shown a text message and were asked how we would respond to it. We could either respond the old fashion way (writing on paper) or we could log onto a website and post our reply there. For the ‘Moral Compass’ activity we were given a scenario and were then asked to stand in the corner with the description that we felt matched the situation (it depends, no way, yes etc.)

Following this, we were split into four groups, focusing on young people, parents, industries and schools/teachers. We discussed what each of these could do to make online experiences better for young people, and we planned a presentation. During this period, two fortunate children from each school met Margot James MP (Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), guided her around the event and got a chance to talk to her about young people’s experiences online.

After a quick break, we found which stations we would be manning in the afternoon whilst professionals from around the digital industry visited the event. These visitors included companies like BBFC, Vodafone, Roblox OFCOM and more. The stations included: ‘Jargon Busting’, ‘Ask and Answer’, ‘My Emoji Self’ and ‘What The Theme Means To Us’. We also rehearsed our presentations and met Charlie and Afua, members of Childnet’s Youth Advisory Board who would also be presenting later.

In the afternoon we presented our thoughts on young people’s experiences online on stage in the auditorium and listened to speeches made by Nick Lane (Managing Director of Customer Service, EE), Will Gardner (Director UK Safer Internet Centre) and Michael Bell (Head of Safeguarding, DfE). Presenting was very nerve-racking but thankfully we were given great tips from Childnet’s Caroline and Ellie on how to cope with nerves and these tips really helped me in my presentation.

The presentations finished off a truly amazing once in a lifetime opportunity and I would like to thank Childnet for giving us such an amazing experience. My favourite part of the day was meeting many digital industries’ workers and talking to them about online safety. The main thing that I have learnt and would like to share with my school is that everyone has a part to play in making the internet a better place whether it is big or small. As well as this, I would like to teach my school community (students, teachers and parents) how they can help their friends and family online; some of these things include: learning about healthy online relationships and that the internet is not always what it seems.

-Stanburn Primary School Digital Leaders

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