Celebrate Safer Internet Day this February on Sumdog

2 February 2024 Sumdog Team
Pupils using devices in class

Safer Internet Day 2024 is right around the corner and here at Sumdog, we're excited to celebrate and continue to learn more about how we can keep children and young people safe online. With it's community-led approach, Safer Internet Day encourages everyone to work together for a better internet, raising awareness of issues such as cyberbullying. So, to kick off this year's events, let's take a look into how we can make sure children and young people are practising e-safety all year round.

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In its guidance for teaching e-safety in school, the Department for Education underlines the ever-changing nature of the online world, recognising the difficulty of staying on top of the latest apps and trends. As such, the guidance highlights the importance of teaching the underpinning knowledge and behaviours that ‘can help pupils to navigate the online world safely and confidently’, regardless of the app or device. Young people must be shown that respect for safety and boundaries is just as important both on and offline, and educational platforms like Sumdog can give them an opportunity to put what they’re learning into practice in a safe environment.

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Here are our 5 top tips for pupils to stay safe on Sumdog:

  1. Don't share your password with your friends.
    This means only you can access your tasks and account preferences (like your avatar and house!).
  2. If you think someone else knows your password, ask your teacher to change it.
    This stops anyone else making changes to your tasks and account preferences (like your garden and pet!).
  3. If you're using the website, does it say https:// at the beginning?
    This shows that the site connection is secure. If it says http:// without the 's', the connection is insecure and you should not login.
  4. If you're using the app, install the latest version.
    This makes sure all our updates (including security updates) are installed.
  5. Always log out of Sumdog when you're finished.
    This again, means only you can access your tasks and account preferences (like your avatar and house!).

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Sumdog friends

Did you know our Friends feature is a great way to gently and naturally introduce essential e-safety concepts? Here are 3 things you could discuss with your class:

➡️ Respectful behaviour

You can accept somebody’s friend request if you want to, but you don’t have to! You should not feel pressured into doing anything, and you have the right to say no. Equally, if someone doesn’t want to be your friend, you should respect their decision.

➡️ Interacting safely with others

For someone to be able to add you as a friend on Sumdog, they need your unique Friend code. You should only share this information with people you know and want to be friends with. If you don’t know who someone is, you can decline their request!

➡️ Sharing data

You should only accept someone’s friend request if you are happy for them to see your avatar and your coins. This is personal information, and we should always be careful who we share this with.

Friend request

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Putting learning into practice

In today's digital age, the internet plays a crucial role in the lives of young people, serving as a valuable tool for learning, communication, and exploration. It is our responsibility to ensure that they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate this virtual landscape safely. So, the next time you engage your class with Sumdog, why not initiate a meaningful conversation about e-safety?

 

 

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References

* Department for Education, Teaching online safety in schools [online], Available at
< https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-online-safety-in-schools/teaching-online-safety-in-schools >.

* Mark Harrington, How to teach online safety inclusively [online], Available at
< https://www.tes.com/news/send-how-teach-online-safety-inclusively >.

* Safer Internet Day [online], Available at
< https://www.saferinternetday.org/ >.

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