Safer Internet Day: A chance to connect, reflect and protect. - Education Matters Magazine
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Safer Internet Day: A chance to connect, reflect and protect.

The eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) is marking the 20th year of the Safer Internet Day and this time the online regulator is asking everyone to “Connect. Reflect. Protect”.

Schools are being encouraged to spread the word by visiting esafety.gov.au and registering for an eSafety Virtual Classroom, downloading classroom resources, and sharing specific content in parent newsletters and on social.

According to eSafety, technology has evolved dramatically in the past 20 years, creating huge benefits but also new risks, especially among school-aged children and young people.

Safer Internet Day is a global awareness-raising event which has become a landmark in the international online safety calendar. eSafety is responsible for co-ordinating Australia’s involvement.

The aim of Safer Internet Day is to create a better internet, where everyone is protected and encouraged to use technology responsibly and respectfully.

“Australia was there at the start and we’ve achieved a lot in 20 years, but there is still much to do,” eSafety stated.

“By celebrating the positive power of the internet, Safer Internet Day encourages everyone to join the movement, participate and make the most of the internet’s potential to bring people together.”

eSafety is a national regulator and was created to help protect Australians who experience online abuse. It has a range of civil powers that act as a safety net, including the power to help remove illegal or harmful content, image-based abuse or online cyberbullying.

In addition to working with the education, NGO and mental health sectors, eSafety recently set up a more formal body, the National Online Safety Education Council.

According to the organisation, this is to ensure it understands the challenges schools and educators are facing so it can develop the guidance and resources they need, including classroom resources aligned with curriculums.

eSafety strives to understand what children and young people need and want in online safety and how they expect the tech industry to help them navigate online environments safely.

One of its primary functions is to educate Australians about online safety.

Its online safety resources for teachers, schools, universities, communities and parents include virtual classrooms and webinars, professional training programs, and an early years program for educators.

These education resources are used widely across Australia and around the world. They are all free and evidence based. You can find them at www.esafety.gov.au/education.

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