Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online
Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online
Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online
CIS staff photo of Leila Holmyard

By Leila Holmyard, International Advisor

Save the date for Safer Internet Day 2023 on Tuesday, 7 February 2023.


Safer Internet Day 2023 graphic

Safer Internet Day has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network in 2005, Safer Internet Day is now celebrated in approximately 180 countries and territories worldwide.

Learn about what is happening in your country for Safer Internet Day.

From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.

This year's theme: Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online

Last year, the International Task Force on Child Protection published guidance on student engagement activities related to safeguarding (see page 24 onwards). The principles in this document can be adapted to explore online safety topics with young people, providing the safeguarding and ethical considerations in the document are also applied.

No matter your level of technical competence, asking open questions can help you engage in informative conversations with young people about their online experiences.

Some questions you could consider asking include:

  1. What does online safety mean to you?
  2. What social media platforms do students in your school typically use?
  3. What risks or harm can young people experience when online?
  4. What can/do students do to keep themselves safe online?
  5. If a student at your school didn’t feel safe online, what actions might they take?
  6. If a student was worried about the safety or well-being of a friend related to their online behaviour, what actions might they take to help them?
  7. How does the school help to keep you safe online?
  8. What do you think should be covered in the curriculum about online safety?

Social media has been overtaken in recent weeks of discussions about the impact on education of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots that employ natural language processing (NLP) technology.

As schools and universities grapple with this new technology and its accessibility to students, this is another area where students can play an important role in shaping how we engage with technology.

You might ask students:

  • What is exciting to you about AI?
  • Which AI tools do you already use in your daily life?
  • How could or does AI help you learn?
  • What risks and challenges do you see around use of AI chatbots in education?
  • How do developments in AI chatbots impact our understanding of academic integrity?
  • How do you think AI chatbots can be used safely and ethically in school?
  • Do you think AI should be part of the school curriculum? If so, where do you see it fitting in?

Many CIS member schools are engaging in these conversations already. The Director of Tashkent International School offers his perspective in this blog. The International Schools Podcast explored this topic with international school technology directors from the American International School Chennai and the International School of Geneva. Frankfurt International School will host a student-led virtual symposium on the promise and pitfalls of AI in education on 2 February 2023 at 18:30 CET.

We have much to learn from students about technology. Bringing young people into the conversation has the potential to surface new challenges and opportunities and take action that takes account of student needs and experiences.

With your help, Safer Internet Day 2023 can be a springboard for conversations that shape how we talk about and respond to online issues, not just for one day but throughout the year.

Register your support of Safer Internet Day 2023 to receive information and resources from the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Access a wide range of resources for teachers from Childnet International.

Check out Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles for Safer Internet Day, and review the #SaferInternetDay and #SID2023 hashtags to keep track of—and contribute to—the discussions.



Related content:


Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online
  • Child protection
  • Data protection
  • Student well-being
Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online