It will also explore the particular context in which children are going back to school this year, highlighting the opportunities that digital technologies present and reminding everyone of the heightened online safety risks which the coronavirus crisis has caused.
The 2020 back to school season promises to be more exciting than ever, with teachers and students alike slowly resuming face-to-face interactions for the first time in over six months!
We recognise however that the remaining uncertainties around the re-opening of schools could very well be an added challenge for education professionals preparing for this new school year; a fact which many European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) from the Insafe network have taken into account when designing their back to school informational and pedagogical resources. Many materials therefore take into account both the face-to-face and distance learning scenarios, sometimes even a mix of both, in the case of blended learning. Besides, the vast majority of the resources listed below are accessible online.
Please note that many Safer Internet Centres will continue to launch resources and initiatives throughout September and into October. Please check back often for the latest information.
Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czechia | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | United Kingdom
The Austrian SIC will publish an article on tools and apps for everyday school life, along with related guidelines on social media. For further information, please contact the Austrian Safer Internet Centre.
The start of the new school year means new vibes, new family organisation and new challenges. In any case, young Belgians will spend time on their screens for homework but also to chill, to game and to chat together. Some of them will even challenge each other and get involved in "impossible" missions. Challenges are components of their offline environment as well as their online lives. Many young people are cautiously seduced by these challenges and try them in a safe way, but others rush into them without realising the risks.
The popularity of challenges often creates panic among parents and teachers. Hence Child Focus, the Belgian SIC, has decided to help them by developing three educational resources in order to address the issue. The tools are:
- a teacher handbook available in Dutch and French;
- a set of conversation starters for parents available in Dutch and French;
- a challenge directory available in Dutch and French, in order to keep adult knowledge on online challenges up to date.
Through actual examples and concrete tips and tricks, these resources open the debate with young people and invite them to reflect on the consequences of their own choices for themselves and for others. Integrity, critical thinking, self-confidence and online reputation are central issues in these tools.
For further information, please contact the Belgian Safer Internet Centre.
In preparation for the new school year in a pandemic situation, the Bulgarian SIC has been developing various online resources as part of its Back2School package, which will be disseminated through various online channels – the SIC's website, the SIC's Facebook page, various teacher groups on Facebook, as well as a mailing campaign targeting schools. The package includes:
- a brochure called "Recommendations for safe remote learning in digital environment" (in Bulgarian), targeting both teachers and parents;
- a brochure called "Are we ready for the school year? 12 ideas for parents in the COVID-19 crisis" (in Bulgarian);
- a brochure called "Where are we when we are online?" (in Bulgarian), compiling advice about the main online risks on the most popular social media platforms;
- a brochure on online risks for teenagers called "For a safer online summer" (in Bulgarian);
- a video for teachers called "For safer remote teaching" (in Bulgarian);
- a video for parents on "How much time online is safe?" (in Bulgarian).
For further information, please contact the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre.
For the back to school season, the Croatian SIC is planning the following activities:
- two or three articles to be published on the official website of the Croatian SIC;
- the dissemination of short quizzes on the social media profiles (mainly Facebook and Instagram) of the Croatian SIC;
- a collaboration with national YouTubers;
- and a checklist for renewing knowledge on online safety at the beginning of the new school year.
For further information about back to school activities in Croatia, please contact the Croatian Safer Internet Centre.
The Cyprus SIC has prepared a wealth of activities for the new school year, including the following:
- An information note will be circulated in September through the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, introducing the SIC and the various online safety programmes which teachers and educators can use, including the "Young Coaches for the Internet" and the "eSafe School for the Internet" programmes.
- A new poster has been designed for the awareness centre, the helpline and the hotline which will be sent to all schools in Cyprus. A student competition on the creation of a poster for the 1480 Helpline and Hotline will also be announced.
- A student competition called "#Together_We can" in which participants will present solutions to fight online violence and cyberbullying, to bring an end to hate speech and racism, to stop misinformation and fake news, and to protect personal data and users' digital identity.
- A manual including four learning modules for teachers and educators on rules for ethical online behaviour, cyberbullying, electronic and internet games, information and misinformation, and personal data and digital identity.
- Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the SIC's new round of presentations, lectures, and workshops will start on Monday, 21 September 2020 on Microsoft Teams. This platform is officially used as a digital education platform in the country, so the Cyprus SIC has also developed five learning modules and educational materials to help students familiarise themselves with it.
For further information, read a dedicated article on back to school activities in Cyprus, or contact the Cyprus Safer Internet Centre.
In September, the Czech SIC plans the screening of the #martyisdead series (awarded as the best web series in Central and Eastern Europe at the Serial Killer festival), along with a follow-up debate with experts within Zlín Film Festival for Children and Youth (the oldest and largest festival of films for children and youth in the world).
For further information, please contact the Czech Safer Internet Centre.
In Denmark, the SIC re-launched a teaching material on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the beginning of the school year. The resource, called GDPR – WHAT? 2.0 (available in Danish) is an online teaching material targeting pupils from third to ninth grades. It was developed by the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People, in collaboration with teachers and students. It supports teachers in engaging in dialogue with their students about the GDPR and digital self-defense. Through a variety of activities with films, podcasts and group discussions, children and young people are encouraged to think critically about how and where they share their personal data online. The material is based on an online magazine with the same title, which was launched on Safer Internet Day 2019 and developed by the Media Council, in collaboration with Save the Children Denmark and the Center for Digital Youth Care.
For further information, please contact the Danish Safer Internet Centre.
For the start of the new school year, the Estonian SIC has launched a student competition called "Valed internetis" (False information on the internet). Disinformation has been around since the beginning of time, but it spreads at a much higher pace online and it can be difficult to detect. Therefore, the ability to recognise and avoid disinformation is important to all of us.
The competition is open to students aged 7 to 19, either alone or in groups, independently or with the help of a mentor. The group can consist of up to five members, and the members can be of different ages. The mentor (which can be a teacher, a parent, a sibling or a relative) is there to help the children think through the description of the competition entry and with uploading it.
The prizes will be drawn between all participants, split into different age groups. The jury will select the competition entries with the most interesting topics, on the basis of which an e-test "False versus truth on the internet" will be created, to be used by all interested parties at school and elsewhere.
More information about the competition, its goals and how to participate (rules, timeline and so on) is available on the Estonian SIC's website (in Estonian).
Moreover, in the third week of September, the Estonian SIC will provide all basic schools with an online set of awareness-raising materials including lesson plans, informative materials, posters, videos, and so on. This pack of resources will support educators in discussing cyberbullying with students: how to prevent bullying behaviour, why it is important, how to report, how to find help, and so on. This package will also be available on the Estonian SIC's website.
For further information, please contact the Estonian Safer Internet Centre.
The Finnish SIC's activities for this back to school season will focus on two target groups: parents and carers on the one hand, and teachers and educators on the other.
- For parents, MLL, an organisation which is part of the Finnish SIC, has published a brochure on giving a child their first smartphone and on the necessary safety skills involved. This brochure, available in Finnish and Swedish, has been sent to the homes of all children entering primary education.
- For educators, KAVI, which is also part of the Finnish SIC, has redistributed several materials created by the various partner organisations on the SIC's Facebook page to help teachers start the new school year with applicable and practical media literacy materials.
For further information, please contact the Finnish Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in France, please contact the French Safer Internet Centre.
For the back to school season, the German SIC has prepared the following activities:
- Some recommendations for educators on remote learning and how to use video chat for online classroom sessions (in German). If interested, you can view the visual checklist and learn more about this initiative (both in German).
- A klicksafe Teacher's Handbook "Durch's Jahr mit klicksafe" (Through the year with klicksafe) contains 12 teaching units for primary school level – perfect for planning at the start of a new school year!
- A special join-in booklet for elementary schools (in German) for younger children and an accompanying brochure for teachers (in German), together with the project "Internet-ABC".
- For peer education, the SIC has developed a special worksheet (in German) covering the topic of virtual assistants that can be used by peer educators together with a short video on how smart speakers work (in German, but English subtitles can be activated).
For further information, read an article dedicated to back to school preparations in Germany on the BIK portal, and contact the German Safer Internet Centre.
Back to school materials in Greece. © Greek Safer Internet Centre
The Greek SIC is preparing a wealth of activities for back to school, including the following:
- A series of textbooks for all educational levels which, in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Education, will be included as auxiliary material in the online safety courses implemented for the first time in 2020 as part of the "skills development workshops" in schools. The aim of the textbooks is to equip students of all educational levels with the knowledge and skills for creative, safe and responsible use of digital technologies.
- Two new illustrated educational tales for younger children, starring Athina and Ermis; two characters known from previously published materials. These books deal with online risks and opportunities, with a specific focus on data protection in this edition.
- A massive open online course (MOOC) of five individual modules has been prepared for parents and teachers, aiming to educate adults on matters related to the online safety of children.
For more information about these resources, visit the Greek SIC's back to school page, read the article "Back to school in Greece: educational booklets for all age groups" on the BIK portal, or contact the Greek Safer Internet Centre.
The Hungarian SIC has a lot of new projects and plans for the new school year.
- On Tuesday, 29 and Wednesday, 30 September 2020, the SIC will organise a Media Conference, with a book launch and book signing opportunity with Dr Mary Aiken, writer of "The Cyber Effect". The list of speakers will include Attila Fülöp, State Secretary for Social Affairs, Ministry of Human Capacities; Alexandra Szentkirályi, Government Spokesperson; Dr Attila Péterfalvi, President of the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information; and Gabriella Cseh, from Facebook.
- During the conference, the SIC will launch a online safety game (in Hungarian) for young people aged 13-17.
- Also during the conference, the SIC will present the results of its research on internet use among children and parents in Hungary.
- Together with the Generali a Biztonságért Foundation, the SIC is launching a competition for Hungarian schools. The aim is to ensure as many children as possible receive further online safety training during the school year. The lectures and trainings will be given by the SIC team.
For further information, please contact the Hungarian Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Iceland, please contact the Icelandic Safer Internet Centre.
The ISPCC Childline Therapeutic Support Services team, which represents the Irish helpline, hosted a webinar series to support parents, carers, children and young people with the return to school this year. "Transitioning Back to School" webinars shared support, information and resources with parents and carers on Monday, 17 August 2020, while children and young people also joined on Tuesday, 18 August 2020. The webinars can be viewed on the ISPCC website.
For children and young people, the helpline published support and information content, including "top tips" for the return to school:
These top tips were also shared in the form of an infographic and promoted via the helpline's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. ISPCC Childline National Manager, Emma McCluskey, also shared a video message with children and young people returning to school, which was published on the ISPCC Childline social media profiles.
For parents and carers, the helpline shared an article titled "Communicating clearly with your child around the return to school" on the Parenting Hub section of the ISPCC website. Moreover, ISPCC Childline Therapeutic Support Worker, Siobhán Harvey, shared some tips for parents and carers in a video as part of the Ombudsman for Children's Office back to school video series.
ISPCC Childline also highlighted listening support services for children, young people, parents and carers in Ireland, which are available at this time and always. Childline, Ireland's only 24-hour active listening service for children and young people, is there for every child and young person up to the age of 18 in Ireland, 24 hours a day, every day. Children and young people can make contact to talk about any issue on their mind. The ISPCC Support Line is available to parents and carers who would like support or information in relation to any aspect of a child's welfare or wellbeing. The line extended its service hours from Monday, 17 August 2020 to Friday, 4 September 2020, to support parents and carers of children returning to school at this time.
For further information, please contact the Irish Safer Internet Centre.
The Italian SIC's back to school campaign will run across September and October, and will target pupils and students, teachers and education professionals, as well as parents and carers. Among other things, the campaign will consist of:
- The launch of four new cartoons on the SIC's YouTube channel.
- The publication of guidelines by the Ministry of Education to help teachers organise awareness-raising activities at school.
- The launch of a new webpage on the SIC's website to help teachers, parents and students to manage distance learning properly.
For further information, read a dedicated article on back to school activities in Italy and contact the Italian Safer Internet Centre.
The Latvian SIC is planning the following activities for back to school:
- A #Back2School newsletter will be disseminated to Latvian schools. This mailing will include recently developed materials.
- The SIC will provide Latvian schools with an opportunity to participate in a media literacy quiz called "City ABC". With the help of the Latvian Safer Internet Ambassadors, the SIC has developed 27 games and quizzes, each consisting of 33 statements about one particular city. Students from grades 7 to 12 will have to read each statement and find out whether it is a fact or a lie. Schools will be invited to work with their pupils to develop similar statements about their city.
- A digital collection of poems about the internet will be disseminated to schools for children in grades 1 to 6 to read and discuss with teachers in Latvian language and/or literature lessons and encourage children to write their own poems. This digital collection consists of poems that Latvian authors have written about virtual versus real life, the excessive use of the internet, mobile phones, and so on. Thus, this digital collection disseminated to schools will simultaneously allow children to learn about Latvian poets while paying attention to safe and responsible use of the internet.
For further information, please contact the Latvian Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Lithuania, please contact the Lithuanian Safer Internet Centre.
The Luxembourgish SIC has created and updated a series of training concepts for the new school year:
- "Alex's first steps online" – a concept developed for children aged 10-12 who receive their first smartphone and need proper guidance.
- "DigiRallye – Virtual edition" – a virtual activity consisting of interactive quizzes and tasks in which children aged 9-12 playfully gain a first insight into how to use media and technologies in a safe and responsible manner.
- "Are you sure?" – a campaign planned for October, aiming to encourage young people to reflect on their own digital identity, featuring short videos about sexting, sharenting, self-presentation and online reputation.
- "Discover together" – a series of motion graphics for parents in which they can find practical tips on how they can engage with their children's use of digital media.
- An updated edition of the Data Detox Kit.
For further information, read a dedicated article on back to school activities in Luxembourg, or contact the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre.
For this year's edition of #Back2School with BIK, the Maltese SIC is organising a short social media campaign with children wearing masks with strong messages related to spreading kindness, seeking help, staying connected with family and friends, and online respect. These will be launched on International Literacy Day, on Tuesday, 8 September 2020. The messages will be:
- Always show respect and kindness both online and offline.
- Do not spread hate or hurtful comments.
- Wearing a mask should not stop you from reaching out for help and support.
- While you may be spending more time in front of a screen, it is important to also participate in offline activities.
- Don't let physical distancing make you lose touch with family and friends. Stay connected.
Furthermore, the Maltese SIC is also planning to disseminate over 2,000 masks among vulnerable groups such as children and young people in homes, open centres and also those that benefit from help from the government. The masks will include the Maltese SIC's logo and the tagline "Spread kindness, not hate".
For further information, please contact the Maltese Safer Internet Centre.
For the back to school season, the Dutch SIC has prepared three main activities. From Monday, 21 to Friday, 25 September 2020, the School & Safety Foundation is organising the "Week Against Bullying". The SIC has put together a teaching package that fits seamlessly with this year's theme: "Together to move". The lessons provide tools for discussing online rules of conduct with the class through discussions, assignments, and example situations, but they can also be used to encourage students to ask for help if they are concerned about something. The lessons are available in Dutch.
Would you like to hear more about the curriculum or how to get started with students? On Monday, 21 September 2020 from 16:00 to 17:00 CEST you can ask questions to Klaartje Schüngel and Justine Pardoen from Bureau Jeugd & Media, experts in the field of (cyber)bullying, online etiquette and teaching materials. If you are interested, sign up for the session (in Dutch).
With the teaching package "De InternetHelden", young people can learn the basic principles of digital citizenship and online security. This has been compiled by Bureau Jeugd & Media, the Dutch SIC and Google, and is divided into five themes: sharing sensibly; do not fall for falsehood; protect your secrets; being nice will get you further; and do not get stuck. The lesson package can be downloaded from the Be Internet Awesome platform, containing both a teacher guide and ready-made digital lessons.
For further information, please contact the Dutch Safer Internet Centre.
As part of its 2020 #Back2School activities, the Norwegian SIC is launching a computer game for families called "Stjernekolonien" (The Star Colony). In the game, players can take part as seven-year-old Luna or Noah to experience a week in their lives.
Stjernekolonien (The Star Colony). © Norwegian Safer Internet Centre
The game is aimed at children aged 6-9 (first to fourth graders), playing together or exploring with their parents. Various topics cover the challenges, joys and dilemmas they may encounter online. More specifically, the game addresses screen time, netiquette, passwords, age limits, and behaviour on social media and privacy, while also reflecting on the web as a fantastic resource, when used correctly.
The launch of the game took place at a primary school in Norway on Wednesday, 2 September 2020 with the Minister of Children and Families present. The promotion of the game will be directed at both parents and teachers on social media channels, and information will be distributed to primary schools and parent committees in Norway during the Back2School campaign.
More information about the game is available in the BIK resource gallery and on the Norwegian Media Authority's website.
In September, the Norwegian SIC will also re-launch an updated version of the booklet "There's so much that parents don't understand…" (in Norwegian). The booklet has been adapted from a Danish resource written and published by the Media Council for Children and Young People.
For further information, please contact the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Poland, please contact the Polish Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Portugal, please contact the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre.
Since returning to school will be quite different in 2020, posing a number of new challenges for children, teachers and parents, the Romanian SIC has ramped up its efforts in protecting and empowering children online. The Romanian SIC will launch two educational resource packs aimed at families and educational institutions, which will assist in keeping children safe as well as educating them on risks such as fake news and harmful content. Moreover, the centre has developed an online training course aimed at teachers to develop their digital and safety skills. Find out more on the Romanian SIC's website.
For further information, please contact the Romanian Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Russia, please contact the Russian Safer Internet Centre.
For further information about back to school activities in Slovakia, please contact the Slovakian Safer Internet Centre.
The following activities will take place to support back to school in Slovenia:
- Some recommendations for the new school year on safe and responsible distance learning, targeting both parents and teachers (in Slovenian).
- Newsletters for teachers and parents at the beginning of the new school year.
- A new handbook on safe internet use for kindergarten teachers and teachers of the first three years of primary school (in Slovenian).
- A webinar for parents at the beginning of the school year, to equip parents with knowledge and information on safe distance learning. You can register to the webinar on the website of the Slovenian SIC.
- A social media campaign (mostly unfolding on Instagram) targeting teenagers for a successful and safe start to the new school year.
- A new leaflet for teenagers covering the topic of love and relationships in the digital world.
For further information, please contact the Slovenian Safer Internet Centre.
The Spanish SIC has been preparing its back to school resources, taking into account risk situations with a special impact on minors since the beginning of the lockdown and once lifted. These resources include:
- an awareness campaign called "#CYBERCOVID19: Promoting cybersecurity in the family and the school", with different thematic blocks and resources (posts, videos, infographics, lesson plan or activities), targeting parents and educators;
- an awareness campaign "Kids and sexting", with different thematic blocks and resources (posts, videos, infographics, newsletters, lesson plan or activities), targeting parents, educators and students;
- and an awareness campaign "Zero tolerance for cyberbullying" with different thematic blocks and resources (posts, videos, infographics, newsletters, lesson plan or activities), targeting parents, educators and students.
For further information about back to school activities in Spain, please contact the Spanish Safer Internet Centre.
To help schools prepare for the new school year, the UK SIC has released a resource on blended learning (a mix of face-to-face and online learning) for education professionals. This is in response to remote learning along with schools returning to regular practice in the near future. For further information, please contact the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Please note that many Safer Internet Centres will continue to launch resources and initiatives throughout September and into October. Please check back often for the latest information.