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Today is Safer Internet Day

Tuesday 8th February 2011

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

New digital technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for children and young people – they can learn, create and communicate in ways that we would never have imagined in our youth! The online world is very much part of children’s reality today – they are ‘growing up digital’, with technology embedded in every aspect of their lives and, to them, media multitasking is very much the norm. Some of the facts and figures offered by Insafe are:

• Gamers spend on average 8 hours weekly playing online.
• Young people sleep 2 to 3 hours less per night than 10 years ago.
• In January 2010, 18 million accounts were registered on Second Life.
• Facebook reports more than 500 million active users.
• Users spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month.
• 13 million players of World of Warcraft (WoW), the world’s largest MMORPG.
• MMORPGs generated $1.5 billion in subscription revenues worldwide in 2008, forecast to reach $2.5 billion by 2012.
• Up to 250,000 players are simultaneously online on WoW.
• Transactions and sales of virtual goods in virtual worlds were estimated at $18 billion in  2009.

Teachers have a duty of care to their pupils, and this includes helping children and young people to use new digital technologies safely and responsibly, wherever and whenever they go online.
Digital literacy skills are key life skills for children and young people today: for example, knowing how to effectively search for and evaluate online content, knowing how to protect personal information and reputation, respecting copyright and intellectual property, and knowing where to get help if problems are encountered. Schools are well placed to help children and young people to develop these skills, and should look for opportunities across the curriculum to reinforce online safety messages.
Alternatively, visit your national awareness centre page for further information on contacts and campaigns in your country.

Teachers can find a great set of resources for Safer Internet Day.


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