Webwise is the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre which is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills and is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility.
Webwise is part of the PDST Technology in Education, which promotes and supports the integration of Digital Technology in teaching and learning in first and second level schools. The PDST Technology in Education is a section of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). The PDST is a support service of the Teacher Education Section, Department of Education and is hosted by Dublin West Education Centre.
Our core work and aims.
Webwise promotes the autonomous, effective, and safer use of the internet by young people through a sustained information and awareness strategy targeting parents, teachers, and children themselves with consistent and relevant messages.
We develop and disseminate resources that help teachers integrate internet safety into teaching and learning in their schools. We also provide information, advice, and tools to parents to support their engagement in their children’s online lives. With the help of the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel we create youth-oriented awareness raising resources and campaigns that address topics such as digital media literacy, cyber bullying, online wellbeing, and more.
Digital Media Literacy Teaching Resources.
We develop teaching resources that can be used by teachers in the classroom to educate children and young people about online safety and digital media literacy, and to help them develop the skills needed to responsibly, and effectively, engage with the digital environment. Our resources support the integration of digital media literacy into the curriculum at Primary and Post-Primary level.
Our most recent resources include:
Connected – An Introduction to Digital Media Literacy
Connected – An Introduction to Digital Media Literacy is a Post-Primary level resource specifically designed for teachers of the Junior Cycle Digital Media Literacy Short Course. The programme gives students an understanding of the role of digital technologies, their rights in the digital world and helps them develop key digital media literacy skills to empower them to be effective, autonomous and safe users of technology and online media. The 5 Modules included in the programme explore topics such as “My Online Wellbeing”; “News Information and Problems of False Information”; “Big Data and the Data Economy” and “My Rights Online”. The resource is also supported by a series of animations which explain topics such as Big Data, and False Information, which you can watch below.
Explained: What is False Information:
Webwise Primary School Resources
HTML Heroes is a resource that was developed to assist primary school teachers to introduce internet safety and digital citizenship to 3rd and 4th class students. The programme includes eight lessons and four animations for use in the classroom to help children to learn to use the internet safely and responsibly. A core focus of the interactive online programme is to help pupils to develop digital media literacy skills. The 8 lessons introduce key topics and encourage the development of critical thinking skills in the exploration of subjects such as false information, online advertising, searching for and evaluating online content, privacy and respectful communication. The resource is also supported by specifically designed animations that see the HTML Heroes characters perform fun and catchy raps that introduce pupils the internet and the skills needed to safely and effectively navigate the online world. Among the videos is “HTML Heroes – What can I Trust Online?” where the characters Ruby and Archie encourage pupils to question what they see on the internet and to employ strategies to identify reliable sources of online content. This video can be watched below.
Video: HTML Heroes – What Can I Trust Online?
All Aboard for DigiTown
All Aboard for DigiTown is a learning path for 9 to 12 year-olds to become smart digital citizens. The resource helps pupils explore the concept of digital citizenship across 10 themes centred on “Being Online”, “Well-being Online”, and “Rights Online”. These are based on the Council of Europe’s Digital Citizenship Education model. Topics include media and information literacy, consumer awareness, rights, ethics and empathy, wellbeing, and privacy. The aim of the resource is to teach pupils to learn about using digital technology wisely, to behave respectfully and responsibly, and to cooperate meaningfully online and offline.
We provide hard copies of the resources free of charge to teachers and schools on request. The materials are also available to access digitally, and you can find out more about our teaching resources by visiting our Teachers Hub at www.webwise.ie/teachers.
Editor’s note: Jane will be one of our speakers at the next Wednesday Webinar on Media Literacy on 14 April when the spotlight will fall on Media Literacy in Ireland. Register here.
Jane Mcgarrigle, Project Officer with Webwise