Raising Students’ Awareness of Online Safety for Safer Internet Day

    

Safer Internet Day, celebrated on February 6, offers an excellent opportunity to introduce students to good practices in online safety. With the increasing predominance of digital in our lives, it is essential to equip young generations with strong digital skills and raise awareness of potential risks. In this article, we propose a dozen fun educational activities to guide students to navigate safely on the internet.

    

Most of these online exercises are created with BookWidgets. You can create a free BookWidgets account to duplicate the exercises. This allows you to modify them (for example to adapt them to your students’ level). In each activity, you will find the duplication option in the upper left corner, and you will also find them all in this group.

    

1. Password Workshop

    


    

Thousands of accounts are hacked every day because passwords are too weak and the same password is used for different accounts. Below are two activities on the theme of secure passwords. 

    

The first activity is a hangman game where students must try to hack the most commonly used passwords. 

    


    

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In the second activity, they check the security of their own password(s). 

    



    

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2. The Ubiquity of Social Networks

    


    

Social media is ubiquitous in the lives of young people. The online safety of young people is therefore largely linked to good use of social media. 

    

The first activity deals with how social media can influence, or even dominate, our lives and behavior. It consists of three excellent short films (in English) and a series of accompanying questions to discuss with your students in class. 

    

    

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In the second activity, the objective is to allow students to examine the privacy settings of their social media accounts. Depending on their age, they can do this on their own or with the help of their teacher. 

    


    


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3. Classroom Discussion

    


    

Organize a group debate on the concept of online privacy. Discuss the information that is safe to share and the information that is best kept confidential. Encourage students to think about the impact of disclosing personal information on their online safety.

    

Here is a series of questions to guide such a classroom discussion. 

    


    

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4. Vocabulary Related to Online Security

    


    

To understand and speak about cybersecurity tips, it is also necessary to have a certain vocabulary. In this flashcards and crossword, students test their knowledge on terms such as “phishing”, “cyberbullying” or “two-factor authentication”. 

    


    

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5. Unmasking Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    

Since the launch of ChatGPT to the public at the end of 2022, AI has become ubiquitous. “Fake news” and manipulated photos have existed for a long time, but it is now even easier to produce them. Many questions remain about the future of AI and its impact on our society, but it is important to warn young people about the pitfalls from now on. 

    

In the first activity, students must analyze a photo and determine if it was created by AI. 

    


    

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The next two activities are only available in English and therefore provide an excellent opportunity for English teachers to offer cross-curricular work around AI. In “AI or Human”, students see images and texts and must estimate if they were generated by AI. In “Human or not”, they talk to a stranger for two minutes. It is up to them to say at the end if they spoke to an AI chatbot or a real person. 

    

6. Fake news

    

Since Donald Trump came to power, we hear about Fake News almost every day, even if distorting the truth or spreading false information is a practice that has existed for much longer. 

    

Ask your students to write their own fake article (possibly with the help of AI) and make it as real as possible. Also ask them to search for a real article (possibly on the same subject). Their classmates must compare the two articles and try to guess which one was invented. 

    

7. Simulation of Cyberattack Scenarios

    

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