Safer Internet Day 2024 in Ireland: Tech in our world

Safer Internet Day 2024 in Ireland witnessed an unprecedented turnout, with over 200,000 people involved in the celebrations. This year’s theme was Tech in our world, exploring young people’s views on new and emerging technology and the changes they want to see online.

2024-03-26
Photo booth

The last year or so has seen many big changes in the online world, including the birth of generative AI, important new EU and national regulations, and the appointment of an Online Safety Commissioner in Ireland. Accordingly, for Safer Internet Day 2024, Webwise (the Irish Safer Internet Centre) encouraged schools, children, teens, and parents to:

  • Reflect: offering an opportunity to reflect on tech in their world, as well as the challenges, opportunities, and big changes.
  • Recognise: help learners understand the influence of digital technology in their daily lives by exploring the concept of persuasive design and the influence of algorithms.
  • Reset: learn tips to help reset our online experiences and empower young people to make the most of their online world. 

Safer Internet Day: Tech in Our World event – live stream 

The Tech in our world event at #MSDreamSpace explored young people’s views on new and emerging technology and the changes they would like to see online; it was live-streamed for students and teachers to view and participate in. Hosted by Claire Brock from Virgin Media, the event featured contributions from the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel, the Online Safety Commissioner, Niamh Hodnett, National Technology Officer at Microsoft, and Kieran McCorry and Dr Emma Murphy from TU Dublin’s School of Computer Science.

More than 100 people attended the in-person event, and many more participated online in discussions that explored some of the opportunities and challenges related to the internet's role in young people’s lives. In a video recorded ahead of the event, children and young people from Ireland, Wales, and England spoke about the one change they would like to see online

Safer Internet Day events around Ireland

Additionally, hundreds of Safer Internet Day events were held nationwide in schools, clubs, and organisations. 

Safer Internet Day event took place across Ireland

Highlights included:

  • Sacred Heart School: Safer Internet Day plans included a rap performance, a workshop on internet safety, cake baking with an internet safety theme, a poster competition, an AI survey, an AI picture game and real-life story, an online presence demonstration, an interactive presentation and activities, a surprise from the SID team, debate club discussions, safety tips, social media awareness, and a che
  • St. Colmcille School: joined the live stream of the Safer Internet Day Tech in our world event and used the free Webwise resources.
  • Leixlip YouthReach: a joint project between teachers of IT and SPHE (social, personal and health education) explored Coco’s Law (new legislation in Ireland that criminalises the non-consensual distribution of intimate images), alongside the complexity that the internet has brought to the important relationships in our lives
  • YouthReach Transition Centre: Students will learn about their digital footprint, laws around smishing, phishing, cocos law, cyberbullies 

Visit the interactive SID Events Map to discover more about the celebrations .

Safer Internet Day 2024 Ambassadors 

More than 100 students from schools across Ireland took part in this year’s Webwise SID Ambassador Programme. This edition of the training programme took a hybrid format with two online training sessions along with an in-person training day (at Google HQ in Dublin). The training day also featured a youth-led discussion about this year’s #SID2024 theme in Ireland: Tech in our world. Special guests included Dr Dympna O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, and the Academic Lead of the Digital Futures Research Hub at Technological University Dublin; James Doyle, also known as Protein Bor Papi on TikTok; and Elaine Burke, award-winning science, and technology journalist.

The peer-led programme equipped students with skills and knowledge to lead online safety campaigns in their schools and communities throughout the training sessions. Accordingly, the participating young people went on to lead an incredible range of initiatives to raise awareness of online safety in their schools for Safer Internet Day 2024.

#WebwiseParents 

During February 2024, Webwise hosted a series of free online safety webinars for parents including a collaboration between the National Parents Council and Apple, and sessions on how to support teens to use TikTok and Snapchat safely.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Ireland and the work of the Irish Safer Internet Centre more generally.

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