February 9, 2021, is officially the 18th celebration of Safer Internet Day! This year’s theme of “Together for a Better Internet” asks us all to join together to help make the internet a safer, more secure place for everyone, especially our children. No matter who you are or what role you play, you can make a difference in creating and maintaining a better online world for students of all ages. Join campaigns around the world on February 9 to celebrate the commitment to this venture.
Although COVID–19 has moved much of the classroom activities to the virtual space, teachers, you can still commit to sharing the goals and objectives of this day with your students. To celebrate, here are some activities that you can participate in to further the mission of making the online world a better place for everyone.
1. Join in the National PTA Facebook Live
Head over to National PTA’s page to see their Facebook Live presentation from February 8 about how to leverage the power of Facebook to your PTA’s advantage. Learn how to use Facebook to better connect with your PTA members and your school community.
2. Attend the National PTA Zoom Meeting on Digital Kindness
On Tuesday, February 9, the National PTA will discuss “Real Conversations with Families about Digital Kindness.” Families will have the opportunity to share their real-world experiences with bullying, racism, and online exclusion. They will also have a chance to discuss their experiences and get advice for helping to create a kinder and safer digital community.
3. Participate in a National Interland Game Night
On Wednesday, February 10, join Google’s presentation on “Gaming Safely.” Join in on Google Meets to learn how to stay safe while gaming online. Then stick around and participate in the National Interland Game Night.
4. Hop on to TikTok to Learn How to Use It Safely
Thursday, February 11, TikTok creators will weigh in on how they stay safe in their everyday online interactions. Join in on The Ultimate School Assembly, and then discuss your favorite tips from the creators.
5. Join Norton LifeLock and Have “The Smart Talk”
Friday, February 12, Norton LifeLock will discuss online risks, how to create effective digital safety partnerships, and how the Smart Talk can help your students and families determine online values, set privacy boundaries, and stay better connected.
6. Have a Conversation About Safe Online Communication
Depending on your audience’s age and maturity, the specific topic may vary, but everyone can benefit from an open discussion about safe online communication. Throw in a video on a variety of topics, such as online grooming or responsible photo sharing, to get the discussion started.
7. Watch ConnectSafely
Being released on February 8, ConnectSafely’s video series entitled Industry Insight will offer a look into what tech companies, policymakers, and others are doing to keep people safe across various apps and services. Encourage students to watch with their families and discuss the main topics after the videos.
8. Create a Written Safety Pledge
Discuss and brainstorm rules for internet behavior, then write down everyone’s best ideas. Use the safety pledge as a conversation starter, and include suggestions from everyone!
9. Take a Quiz
Who doesn’t love to take a quiz? Quizzes can be a fun way to assess your students’ knowledge on safe internet communication.
10. Share Your Safer Internet Day Activities on Social Media
Over 135 countries will be participating in Safer Internet Day! Post your activities, and enjoy browsing through what other people are doing to celebrate! Some handles to be on the lookout for include #BEINCTRL, #UP2US, and SID 2021.
Whatever ways you choose to celebrate Safer Internet Day, make sure you have fun and learn something new along the way. With so many students in virtual learning environments this year, take advantage of the opportunities to connect with their families on this topic as well. Visit Pear Deck’s Safer Internet Day page for educational resources, including a digital citizenship webinar and free curriculum from Google’s Be Internet Awesome.