5 years, 55 countries: Safer Internet Day is here!
The fifth annual edition of Safer Internet Day has surpassed all records, with 55 countries taking part across the world from New Zealand to Costa Rica and Taiwan to Greenland. The unprecedented take-up reflects a growing concern from all sectors on the importance of educating young people to use online technologies safely, effectively and ethically. This year’s theme “Life online is what YOU make of IT” has not only inspired efforts to make the event more memorable than ever, it has resulted in exemplary teamwork across borders hence underlining the global nature of the virtual world.
Wide interest in the Safer Internet Day was sparked early in January by the launch of a catchy video clip by the Spanish media company Publibureau. This has already found its way to YouTube via local and national television, projections in cinema foyers and release on internet. Last week marked another high point in the lead-up, when online voting was launched to select the winners of the Safer Internet Day 2008 competition that ran from October to January. 655 teams competed and national finalists received a record 48,000 e-votes.
This week, hundreds of events are rolling out at the national level. Two major central actions have been launched today in Brussels. At midnight Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, opened the Safer Internet Day blogathon. A Youth Forum of thirty youths (14-17 year olds) from all corners of Europe will lead the second event, where they will discuss their use of mobile phones and social networking sites and make proposals concerning awareness on internet safety to the European Commission, industry and politicians.
This brings us to the high point of the day for the millions of citizens across the world who celebrate Safer Internet Day – the announcement of the winners of the European contest!
5-10 year category
“I am just a kid”; Zaharia Boiu Primary school, Sighisoara, Jud. Mures, Romania
“Options”; Kindergarten of Kaparelli, Greece
11-14 year category
“The adventures of a Modern Odysseus”; 8th Junior High School of Thessaloniki, Greece
“When the child is addicted to the net”; ZŠ Sibírska 42 Secondary School, Prešov 08001, Slovakia
15-19 year category
“Life online is what you make of it”; First Professional High School of Vasilika, Greece
“Don’t walk that talk”; Secondary School of Linda-a-Velha, Portugal
View the winning projects on the e-voting gallery