A look back on the Safer Internet Day Awards 2019 in Ireland

  • Awareness
  • 20/12/2019
  • Irish Safer Internet Centre

Over 15 schools have been awarded for their online safety initiatives, with 200 students being recognised at the first Safer Internet Day (SID) Awards ceremony, at an exclusive awards ceremony in Microsoft DreamSpace.

Inspired by the work being done in schools around Ireland on internet safety, the Irish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) hosted in 2019 the first ever Safer Internet Day Awards to recognise the range of different events and positive actions taking place to promote internet safety. These awards were designed to celebrate the work done by students, teachers and schools to raise awareness about online safety issues while also promoting healthy and creative uses of technology. They were open to all schools in Ireland, and categories in the competition included best use of technology, best campaign, best use of social media, and more.

The winning schools and students received their Awards and an exclusive gig with popular Irish band Chasing Abbey, hosted in Microsoft's DreamSpace venue in Dublin in March 2019.

This year's entries dealt with a wide range of topics. These efforts were peer-led with young people tackling issues that are important to them. There were emerging themes such as device-free campaigns, misinformation, media literacy, respectful communication, image-sharing and how to manage online well-being.

See the winning entries on webwise.ie.

Record numbers of students participating in Safer Internet Day 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019 saw 145,000 students across more than 550 schools in Ireland participate. This was a record number of young people joining in Safer Internet Day in Ireland and marked more than a 30 per cent increase. The winners represented the best in class for online safety initiatives and campaigns. Almost 200 students from fifteen second-level schools across Ireland were awarded for their Safer Internet Day campaigns and initiatives.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. said "I would like to applaud the great work done by schools and students throughout Ireland to promote internet safety and to raise awareness of this issue on Safer Internet Day.  This competition demonstrates that students are really understanding the challenges of being online, and how to ensure that technology is harnessed for good, while staying safe. While there are many benefits to the effective use of digital technologies in teaching and learning, it is important also to be aware of the associated risks and to ensure that there are appropriate resources in place to safeguard our children online. The Department of Education takes this work extremely seriously and is hugely supportive of the Webwise team's innovative and award-winning work in this area."

Ciara O'Donnell, National Director, Professional Development Service for Teachers, said: "On behalf of PDST's Webwise Initiative, I would like to congratulate all the winning schools. These awards recognise the innovative work being done by students and teachers to raise awareness within school communities about online safety. It is a pleasure to welcome students here to Microsoft Ireland and celebrate these great online safety initiatives."

Kevin Marshall, Head of Education at Microsoft Ireland added: "We're delighted to welcome the winners of the Safer Internet Day Awards to our educational hub, DreamSpace, a dedicated space where students are inspired to unbox their ambition, spark their creativity and supercharge their ideas. By educating young people about internet safety, we empower them to unlock new skills and create the workforce of the future. In DreamSpace, we encourage students to think differently, be creative and work together and we want to congratulate this year's winners for showcasing these values."

Find out more information about the work of the Irish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.


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