Creating a Better Internet

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Is it possible to create a better Internet? Last week, countries and people all over the world stepped up to say "Yes!" February 6 was Safer Internet Day (SID), an annual event that began about 10 years ago in Europe, and has spread to over 100 countries worldwide. This year's theme was "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you."

The U.S. Safer Internet Day site includes special programs for school children and the adults in their lives and also archives information about activities from previous years. This year's event emphasized media literacy and avoiding cyberbullying. The event is sponsored by a number of familiar organizations including Google, Symantec, and Twitter. While the day focuses on helping younger children use the Internet safely and interact with others in a respectful manner, it's a lesson that is just as applicable to the rest of us as well. And, although this year's event is over, it's not too early to start planning for next year. Safer Internet Day 2019 will take place on Tuesday, February 5.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities 
  1. Are students aware of Safer Internet Day? Ask them what "media literacy" means to them. 
  2. Review the programs that were held during this year's Safer Internet Day, then divide the class into small groups. Each group should develop an original activity to help younger children learn about this year's goals. If possible, encourage each group to work with a local school or youth organization to speak with the children and complete the activity. Each group should create a brief presentation to discuss their results.
  3. As an individual project, students should locate an organization that is helping to promote the goals of this year's event. Students should create a brief presentation to showcase the organization they have selected and explain what is being done to help educate children and keep them safe on the Internet.


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