Safer Internet Day 2021 is the world day dedicated to the positive use of the Internet. According to recent research made for “Generazioni Connected” by Skuola.net, University of Florence is Sapienza University of Rome 6 out of 10 teenagers say they spend more than 5 hours a day connected. Only 12 months ago they were 3 out of 10. For this, and to cope with the countless problems that can arise with incorrect use of the network, Sid was conceived, which in Italian becomes the World Day for Safety on the Net.
Established and promoted by the European Commission, the Safer Internet Day, with the usual motto “Together for a better Internet”, it is set for tomorrow, Tuesday February 9, with a full program of initiatives put in place by Ministry of Education, coordinator of “Connected generations“, The Safer Internet Center in Italy, the Italian Center for Network Security.
There will be events at local and national level promoted together with partners of “Generations Connected”: the Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence, the State Police, the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, the University of Florence and the “Sapienza” University of Rome, Save the Children Italia, SOS il Telefono Azzurro, the EDI Onlus cooperative, Skuola.net, the DIRE news agency and the Autonomous Giffoni Experience. On the Net, the initiatives will be accompanied by hashtags # SID2021 is #SICItalia.
Are expected webinars, digital workshops, direct with experts and the official presentation of the new Guidelines of the Ministry of Education for the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying. It will also be reflected starting from data, such as those commissioned by Connected Generations on the quantity and quality of hours spent on the Net by girls and boys: 1 in 5 is defined as practically always connected, 6 out of 10 are online 5 to 10 hours a day. Numbers doubled compared to last year, also thanks to periods spent at home, away from school or other socializing activities, during the pandemic. For 59%, cyberbullying episodes are increasing.
Compared to previous editions, this year’s World Day for Online Safety takes on an even more significant significance: the health emergency has affected the habits of Italian adolescents and, in particular, their approach to the virtual and digital world. The Italian school community has offered timely and effective responses, reorganizing training activities with innovative solutions also through forms of Integrated Digital Education (DDI), placing synergy with families, businesses and institutions at the center of a new ‘alliance’ and giving substance, with facts, to the slogan “Together for a better internet”, which for years has accompanied the event all over the world to highlight how the commitment of all is the essential condition for making the Internet a useful and safe tool.
This year Safer Internet Center Italia has promoted an online edition of the national event, which will take place from 10 to 13, live on the Facebook and YouTube channels of the Ministry and Generazioni Connesse. The initiative will be divided into a first session, from 10:00 to 11.30, during which institutions, political decision-makers and experts will meet with young people from lower and upper secondary schools, to explore the themes of Better Internet for Kids Policies, that is, opportunities and problems connected to the virtual world. There will be influencers, experts, digital animators and young “activists” from the Youth Panel and the Youth Movement for Save the Children, who will show examples and virtuous Italian actions relating to the use of new technologies.
They will be present Antimo Ponticiello, Director General of the Ministry of Education, Carla Garlatti, Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence, Daniele De Martino, Chief Executive of the Postal Police, Flaminio Galli, General Manager INDIRE. They will also participate Sandra Cioffi, Vice President of Telefono Azzurro and President of the National Council of Users Telefono Azzurro e Raffaela Milan, Director of Italy-Europe Programs for Save the Children. With them also the singer-songwriter Federica Carta, at the forefront of bullying and body shaming through music. An intervention by prof. Luciano Floridi, Director of the Digital Ethics Lab – Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford – with a central focus on the challenges of digital change.
In the second part of the morning, from 11.30 to 13.00, three thematic training seminars will be held, coordinated by the Safer Internet Center, in collaboration with eTwinning, aimed at teachers and students who will discuss, among other things, fake news and disinformation, digital storytelling, the opportunities and risks of the Internet. To participate in the seminars it is necessary to proceed at registration https://www.generazioniconnesse.it/site/it/2021/02/02/i-seminari-per-la-giornata-della-sicurezza-in-rete/.
2020, with the health emergency, has significantly affected the digital life of Italian girls and boys. According to what emerges from the research carried out for “Generazioni Connesse” by Skuola.net, University of Florence and University of Rome “Sapienza”, on the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2021, 6 out of 10 teenagers declare to spend more than 5 hours per day connected. Just 12 months ago they were 3 out of 10. One in 5 young people say they are “Always connected”.
In recent months, through the network and the sharing of content, the social commitment of female students towards relevant topics has grown such as Climate Change and Global Warming or, again, the Black Lives Matters movement: 53% of participants declare that they have used social media to commit to supporting these causes. Conversely, it is not excluded that the increased time spent online has led to greater exposure for girls and boys the risks of the network, and among these, al cyberbullying: 59% think online bullying has increased. If, therefore, campaigns on the conscious use of the Net begin to have an effect among young adolescents, however, we must not let our guard down. Digital education is the only effective tool available to students, teachers and parents to prevent and / or deal with the most complex situations.
During the day of 9 the new communication campaign “The month of online security” will also be launched of the SIC, which will have as protagonists the students of the Youth Panel and as its subject the new web series entitled “We are fearless”. At the center of the story will be the apparently parallel lives of three teenagers, who will find themselves united in facing the dangers of the world of the Web. From February to March, the voices of the young Italian ambassadors of the Youth Panel will be shared, who with the creation of newspaper articles, video interviews and dedicated videos will act as spokespersons to teach their peers how the Internet can become a safer place for everyone. Furthermore, together with the contents dedicated to young people, webinars and analysis sheets dedicated to teachers, school managers and families will be shared, with the aim of accompanying adolescents towards an informed use of online platforms.
The Ministry of Education has been committed for years to the prevention of the phenomenon of bullying and cyberbullying and, more generally, of all forms of violence. On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, the new update of the “Guidelines for the prevention and contrast of bullying and cyberbullying phenomena” will be launched which reported the necessary additions and changes envisaged by the regulatory interventions, with particular reference to the innovations introduced by the Law 71 of 2017 “Provisions for the protection of minors for the prevention and contrast of the phenomenon of cyberbullying”. The current legislative provision, in fact, provides for a biennial update of the Guidelines and assigns specific tasks and responsibilities to a plurality of subjects, reiterating, however, the central role of the school, called to carry out preventive actions from a governance perspective coordinated by the Ministry which include: the training of school staff, the appointment and training of at least one contact person for the activities to combat bullying and cyberbullying for each school autonomy, as well as the promotion of an active role of students.
Female students and students must be made aware of a responsible use of the Internet and made able to manage digital relationships in unprotected contexts. In fact, one of the main tasks of the school is to promote the acquisition of the skills necessary for the exercise of a conscious digital citizenship. These indications are, in turn, also contained in the Law 20 August 2019 n. 92 “Introduction of the school teaching of civic education” which provides, in the context of the transversal teaching of civic education, education to digital citizenship. The intent of the guidelines is to allow school managers, teachers and operators to understand, reduce and combat the negative phenomena that affect our children and teenagers, providing tools with proven scientific evidence.
All schools will be able to make a contribution to the celebrations of Safer Internet Day 2021: it will be possible to upload your own events created for the day throughout the month online, on the website www.generazioniconnesse.it at the following link https://www.generazioniconnesse.it/site/it/2021/01/18/sid-safer -internet-day-2021 /. Over the years, Safer Internet Day (SID) has become an eagerly awaited event for all operators in the sector, institutions, civil society organizations. For information on events organized around the world, you can consult the European Commission’s website dedicated to the day: https://www.saferinternetday.org/.