February 11th was a special day as countries all over the world celebrated and continued to work toward a safer internet for our children -and for everybody! At SEK Qatar we took the occasion very seriously, for we know how the present times require all of us to be online at a certain degree. This online presence has a deep effect on our lives, which is why we want to truly educate our students, staff and families on this vital topic.
To join the global initiatives our ICT team prepared presentations for each year group. With these, PYP teachers held assemblies to expand on the topic, while MYP-DP students had the opportunity to share with their teachers discussions that sparked conversations on how to be free, respectful, responsible and careful online.
This year Safer Internet Day encouraged young people to explore how they manage their online identity and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others. The idea was, and continues to be, to use the internet to celebrate our differences all the while working towards creating a truly inclusive space where everybody feels free, welcome, included, represented and fairly treated.
Some of the queries students got to explore were: How do people express their identity online? Is the internet a safe and welcoming place for all? Do people feel free to be themselves online? Questions that, no doubt, you can expand at home!
If you’re wondering “What can we do?” here are some tips to become allies and fight for a safer internet for your kids and for your whole family:
- Report negative comments/posts you find online.
- Reach out to your kids and loved ones when you see they’ve become isolated, sad, or are showing a distinct behavior -it might have something to do with online struggles.
- Broaden your feeds, trying to include positive representation of different types of bodies, abilities, nationalities, cultures -our brains understand ‘different’ better when exposed to positive images of that which is different to us.
- Think about what you share and how it might portray others.
- Make use of campaign hashtags and graphics to raise awareness and support for others.
- Tell your kids to come to you or a trusted adult when someone else online has worried or upset them, or has asked them for their personal information, photos or videos.
If you’d like to expand even more, you can visit https://www.saferinternetday.org/