This year, Safer Internet Day 2023 takes place on 7th February, and we here at Sumdog are looking forward to celebrating and learning. With a community-led approach, SID encourages everyone to work together for a better internet, raising awareness of issues such as cyberbullying. Ahead of this year’s events, we want to take a look at how we can make sure children and young people are practising e-safety.
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.
Our newly released 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:
1) 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.
2) 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!
3) 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.
Putting learning into practice
For so many young people, the internet is a vital tool for learning, communication, and experience; we need to make sure they’re equipped with the knowledge to use it safely. So the next time you’re using Sumdog with your class, why not start the e-safety conversation?
* 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/ >.