New educational resources looking at reliability online launched for Safer Internet Day

24 Nov 2020 Becca Cawthorne

To help schools, youth groups, police services, libraries, and wider run fun and engaging activities for Safer Internet Day we have created a range of resources for those working with children and young people.

Free to download, these engaging resources are tailored for 3-18 year olds and look at the topic of reliability online, and the ways that young people can tell fact from fiction whilst spending time on the internet.

The resources have been created to be used by educators across the UK, to help children and young people aged 3-18 learn about online safety issues. The resources are available in English and Welsh.

Tailored for each age group, the educational resources include lesson plans, assemblies, posters, films, and other quick activities.

Will Gardner OBE, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, says:

“We want all schools, youth groups and education settings to be part of the world’s biggest campaign to make the internet a safer and happier place. To help them to do so, as official coordinators here in the UK, our team of teachers and youth workers have created these easy-to-use, practical and engaging resources so that all children can explore what information is reliable online.”

What is covered in the new resources?

Tailored for each key stage, the educational resources include lesson plans, assemblies, posters, films, and other quick activities to engage young people in Safer Internet Day. These activities are practical, easy to organise, and transferrable to any educational setting – classroom or otherwise.

There are four education packs designed for use with young people, a pack for parents and carers, and a pack to support educators delivering these sessions. All of the resources are available in English and Welsh, and have their own age appropriate content and theme. There are also films to help provoke discussions with young people and with parents.

Covering online information and reliability with the youngest internet users, this pack contains guidance, assemblies, lesson plans and access to the latest book in the Digiduck series – Detective Digiduck! All activities have been designed to introduce the theme of reliability online, to help learners begin to ask questions and understand that not everything can be taken at face value. 

The pack is designed to help primary aged children to understand that content can be true, untrue, a belief or an opinion. At this age young people are likely to begin experiencing online advertising, and content that has been edited – e.g. shared by influencers that they follow.

The pack for 7-11s contains a range of resources including a lesson plan, assembly and accompanying slides.

The resource for 11-14 year olds explores the different forms that unreliable online content can take, and helps learners to assess levels of reliability. Learners will consider what factors contribute to the degree of trust they invest in something online, such as the source of the post. The resources will also explore the potential negative impacts of unreliable content on people’s emotions and well-being.

The pack for 11-14s contains a range of resources including a lesson plan, film, assembly and accompanying slides.

The educational resources for 14-18-year-olds explore three main topics: ‘fake news,’ targeted advertising, and influencers. Learners will understand that news can be accessed from a variety of sources – not all of them official- and may therefore be unreliable. Learners will look at how advertising is effectively targeted at people, and will discuss the potential ethical problems that may arise as a result.

The pack for 14-18s contains a range of resources including a lesson plan, film, assembly and accompanying slides.

This pack aims to provide insight into the risks and benefits of life online; provide a range of activities that parents, and carers, can do with their families; and give practical advice to help young people. It also outlines resources for further support and information so that parents and carers can feel confident in their own knowledge and access up-to-date advice.

We have created a range of supporting resources to help teachers and educators understand the theme and plan how to get the most out of the Education Packs and celebrate Safer Internet Day, whether you are a school, youth group, library, police service, or other educational settings. This includes information about handling sensitive topics and disclosures, as well as information about how to use and adapt all of the resources to suit the young people you work with.

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