Play your part for a better internet

February 2016 might seem a long way off, but when it comes to planning, especially for a project (and there’s only one of you), the earlier the better.


For the week of Safer Internet Day 2016 I’m lucky enough to have been commissioned by a large group of schools, so I’m using this page to highlight what we’ll be doing, including the build-up, in order to:

  • Give inspiration to other schools
  • Celebrate the successes of the schools, and in particular, the students.

This page will be updated often as the main project moves forward taking into account the individual projects that will be going on in the schools, including their challenges and successes.

The Project

Post first meeting, the following is the proposal that has gone back to all the schools involved to deliberate over, ready for the next meeting which will be in September.  At that meeting there will be primary and secondary student representatives from each school which will allow their valuable input.  Much of the communication taking place (between staff only) is via a private Facebook Group.

The biggest factor for all the individual projects is that they are all student led.


The theme for Safer Internet Day on 9th Feb 2016 is:

Play your part for a better internet.

The purpose of the week will be to engage with as many people in as many schools as possible, raising the awareness of online risk with a differentiation of age, using the theme for Safer Internet Day.

A very important factor to establish in any e-safety engagement is to target the need, rather than making assumptions of what people do/don’t know.  Therefore it is proposed that a questionnaire (online survey) is sent out to all students and their parents so that individual aspects of need can be targeted.  Alan Mackenzie will create the survey questionnaire and it will be hosted on Survey Monkey which will do much of the back-end statistical work.


Engagement across various outlets to increase the awareness of e-safety including:

  • Students;
  • Staff;
  • Parents and wider school community;
  • Media and potentially other organizations.

Prior to SID a number of schools will take part in a themed competition.  Schools can choose whether they want to take part as a class, a year group or as a whole school.  Proposed themes are set out further below.

Project Themes

The project/competition will need to take into consideration the SID theme and results of the surveys.

Each entrant will pick one project. An entrant could be a class, group or whole-school.

The items below are a starting point for consideration and development of ideas with the main theme being ‘How can everybody play their part for a better internet?’

Sample Challenges for Entrants to Consider

  • Engaging with community and parents – this is always a very difficult aspect to cover, however we know that parents will engage if their own school/children are involved. How would you engage with parents and the wider community, what messages would you give them, and how would you keep them up to date?
  • Teaching younger children (infants/primary) – as a life-skill, e-safety is something that has to start at an early age. How would you teach children in a way that is fun and engaging but gets the important messages across?
  • Social media – social media gets a lot of bad press, normally because we only ever hear the bad things, but also because there are important risks associated with social media. What are the most popular social networks used by students at your school, what do you use them for, why, how do you mitigate risk and what can be done to make them safer?
  • Youth manifesto – the European Youth Manifesto has identified 10 key areas concerning the rights and opportunities that youth consider the most essential for building a better internet. Items 2, 3 and 4 are:
    • Better education and support about the internet for everyone;
    • Better protection for our data and privacy online;
    • An online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance.

Pick one topic, discuss the issues, what would you consider are the priorities and what would you do?

Ideas to develop the project

  • Develop an app
  • Develop a screencast or series of screencasts using Touchcast (interactive video)
  • Develop a video, play, drama or ‘Question time’ style debate.
  • Animations or cartoons using Powtoon or Videoscribe.
  • Develop a series of posters with themed characters. You could take this one stage further by embedding artificial intelligence on the posters (e.g ThingLink, PikToChart, Glogster, Aurasma).
  • Write and perform a song
  • Any combination of the above.
  • Create a huge cardboard ‘Instagram’ cut-out. Get important messages from staff and students (with their head and shoulders in the cut-out) – video or photo these into a storybook.

Must do’s

  • Student-led but help by others is welcomed.
  • Creative use of technology.
  • Fun but with serious messages.

Tips for entrants

  • Don’t try to overcomplicate – simple is always best.
  • Document your project first.  Work backwards – first of all what do you want to achieve?  What outcomes will there be at the end of this?
  • The best ideas are not always new.  Research on the internet what others have done, then do it better.
  • Try to consider how it will help others?  Is it clear, will others understand what you are saying?
  • What is the main point of your project, then have sub-points.
  • Keep it topical, is there anything current in the news, your local area or your school that has or is causing concern, or where things could be improved?

Competition criteria

  • The competition entries will be scored by a panel using set criteria, including score weighting, taking into account age:
  • Has the entry met the desired outcomes?
  • The quality of the messages.
  • (to be developed further)

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Contact Me:

If you would like to chat and see how I can help you, send me an email or give me a call:

Alan Mackenzie

01522 25 30 88