SID Ambassador Training 2020

SID Ambassador Training 2020

Preparations for Safer Internet Day are in full swing here at Webwise Ireland. On the 15th of January, Webwise hosted the Safer Internet Day Ambassador Training Day in Google HQ. Over 100 students from across Ireland gathered together to learn new skills and activities to help them plan and prepare for running their own internet safety awareness raising campaign in their school, clubs or organisations. The aim is to make Safer Internet Day a success in communities and schools across Ireland.


After a welcoming presentation from Google’s Education Officer Xavier, and hearing more about the aim of Safer Internet Day from the Webwise team it was time for the students to begin their training. The SID Trainers, who are also members of the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel, led students through icebreakers and then moved onto a series of prescribed Webwise activities on topics such as your data footprint, online wellbeing and digital resilience, cyberbullying, the role of influencers along with mentoring them in how to run effective Safer Internet Day events in their school, clubs or organisations.

The training day was a hive of activity, with loads of great campaign ideas generated, we hope these can be brought back to schools and implemented in SID campaigns next month. The trainers were, at all times, upbeat and enthusiastic with their groups and we would like to give them a huge thank you for making it all happen.

For the first time ever, teachers were also able to receive Safer Internet Day training on the day. Members of the Webwise teams along with advisors from the PDST Digital Technologies Team, Siobhan O’Sullivan and the PDST Health & Wellbeing Team Caroline Harrison ran workshops for teachers on how to best support their students to lead their Safer Internet Day initiatives. A big thank you to Siobhan and Caroline for making this possible and for the enthusiastic teachers for their involvement and participation on the day.

Webwise would like to say a big thank you to Google for hosting our event, the teachers and principals who helped make it happen, and of course the students themselves, for coming to the event and bringing with them their ideas and positivity. We can’t wait to see all the brilliant Safer Internet Day campaign plans come to life! Schools can get involved by ordering resources, checking out our dedicated Safer Internet Day hub where they can register their school’s events and get their free SID wristbands

Read about what some of the SID Trainers and Ambassadors thought of the experience.

The 3 of us really enjoyed being SID youth ambassadors for our school as we wanted to educate the youth of our nation so that they can pass it on to their parents and other friends or family who aren’t educated. We also learned a lot from working with Webwise, even though we were educating the students, we were surprised by the amazing ideas that all of the students came up with and us as the teachers learned from them. We found that the students were genuinely interested in what they were being taught, we were glad to see that they were happy and excited to bring their ideas to fruition in their schools. We also learned that cooperation is key when working.


Thanks for the extraordinary experience, from Josh, Ronan and Swithin.

CBS The Green Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

From the moment I entered the magnificent building I knew I was in for a real treat. Having driven up from Cork that morning, I was welcomed to Google with a name badge and a smile. We were soon directed into a large room where, after a brief introduction, we set straight to work. Led by Youth Panellists, we began discussing internet safety issues and brainstormed ideas on how to promote a safer internet in our own school. Through fun, interactive and educational games we learned about topics ranging from digital footprint to digital stress and everything in between. The challenges we engaged in were both enjoyable and useful, as we learned simple but effective activities we can take back to our own school community for our own safer internet day initiatives and events. We worked hard but also got to know lots of other like-minded students from across the country, and upon leaving you would think we were lifelong friends! Not to forget the delicious lunch we were all treated to in between our tasks. All in all, a fantastic, informative and fun day was had!

Sarah Fitzgerald

Kinsale Community School, Co. Cork

My name is Emily Gleeson, this year I am a student ambassador along with my friend Alicia McCormack for our school for Safer Internet 2020. We must lead an awareness-raising campaign to address the issues of cyberbullying and internet safety. On the 15th of January, we went to a training day hosted by Webwise in one of the Google buildings in Dublin. This was to help us plan and manage the awareness-raising campaign that we would be hosting in our school.

We were taught many things at the training day that would prepare us for Safer Internet Day. We learned about our data footprint and how cookies work. Our data footprint is a trail of data that you create while using the internet. We learned how to explain these topics to younger students and host activities relating to them e.g. You can calculate the number of people that can potentially see your latest Instagram post just by; multiplying the amount of followers you have, by the amount of likes on your recent post, then take that total and multiply it by the amount of followers one of your followers has. The result is how many people could potentially see your post. We were also shown many other activities that we could teach to the other students, therefore, raising awareness about internet safety e.g. A scenario where we could roleplay how they would react during a conflict; would they be an upstander or a bystander?

I enjoyed all aspects of the day, even the traveling itself to Dublin from Roscommon, as, it gave me the experience of traveling by train and navigating my way to a destination, without either of my parents. However, what I enjoyed the most was meeting all the other student ambassadors and youth panellists from various counties around the country. It was very interesting the way we could all come together and get to know each other, while simultaneously brainstorming and planning ideas for the upcoming safer internet day event. I was very grateful to be able to participate in it myself.

With regards to our plans for Safer Internet Day, Alicia and I plan to organise both a workshop regarding internet safety as well a talk from the local Gardaí, for the 1st and 2nd years. We also plan to run a school-wide poster and poetry/short story competition, focused on the topics; internet safety and cyberbullying. We will additionally be speaking to the 5th and 6th class students in the local primary school along with running a colouring competition.

I am looking forward to carrying out our awareness-raising campaign which will be held during the week of our Safer Internet Day.

Emily Gleeson

Scoil Mhuire Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

Being a Safer Internet Day ambassador has been a great part of my school life this year. I was already a member of our school’s SID committee since the start of the year, so when my teacher told us about applying to be an ambassador for the school, I jumped at the chance and sent in my application. A few weeks later, I was told that two Safer Internet Day ambassadors had been selected from our school and that I was one of them! I was excited for this opportunity and was lucky enough to have guidance from a past SID ambassador in my school, who is now a Webwise Youth panellist. Being a Safer Internet Day Ambassador is really fun, but you have to be committed. In our school, our SID committee hold meetings weekly and at the moment, we are planning activities to promote internet safety during the Safer Internet week we are organising.
I also participated in a webinar leading up to the SID training day in Google. This helped me to understand what is really involved in being an ambassador.
On Wednesday 15th January, I travelled to Google in Dublin for the SID ambassador training day. I went with the other ambassador from my school, Alice. When we arrived at the Google offices I was taken aback by the building. It was so modern with bright colours and cool design. I was particularly impressed by the stairs in the foyer which were made of glass and were rainbow coloured. At 11 o’clock we were led to a huge conference room where we would be spending most of day. After receiving an introduction, we were split into the groups we would be working with. Each group was led by two or three Webwise Youth panellists. I thought this worked very well as peer-lead teaching proved to be effective and it was fun and interactive.
We played some ice-breaker games in our groups and we were then handed out booklets with ideas and activities for Safer Internet Day. We completed some of these activities and they really made me think about my impact and safety online, and what our school’s Safer Internet Day committee can do to raise awareness about these topics. Some of my favourite activities from the day included:
Conscience Alley – questioning whether you were an upstander or a bystander online.
Walking debates about whether you agree/disagree with situations online.
An activity about your data footprint in which we calculated how many people could actually see our posts on social media. The results of this were shocking!

After lunch (Thanks to Google for the delicious food ?), we took part in some more activities and made posters with our groups promoting internet safety and wellbeing.
The last thing we did was discussing our ideas for our own school’s Safer Internet Day campaigns. Our school’s SID committee had already come up with some ideas but listening to the other ambassadors’ plans and advice really helped to expand on these ideas and come up with new ones.
Overall, I found the training day at Google really helpful and I enjoyed it immensely! I would really recommend applying to be a Safer Internet Day Ambassador because it allows you to explore new opportunities, have fun and most importantly, promote safety online.

Jane Smith

SHS Tullamore, Co. Offaly

On the 15th January, Mrs Reddington, Charlie, Sam and Molly headed to Google Headquarters in Dublin for SID Ambassador training day. The reason we attended this event was to learn how we could hold our own campaign in our school to celebrate Internet Safety in the month of February. When we arrived to the event we got a bag with a booklet and a wristband. During the day we participated in lots of different activities. Firstly we were split up into groups so we would get to meet new people from across Ireland (over 100 ambassadors attended the event). The activities were all focused on cyber bullying. Our trainers were a Youth Panel. These were people our age that had been thought to train us. We brainstormed different ideas for our campaigns in our school. We did lots of activities like, for example, we did an activity where you had to go on to your Instagram and pick a picture where you had tagged someone, then get a calculator and put the amount of followers you have, and multiply it by the amount of likes in that photo, and then multiply it by the amount of followers your friend has, which gives you the amount of people that could see the photo if it was shared by your friend. After lunch, we made posters to show why cyberbullying is wrong, and to show what we had learned throughout the day. Lastly we started planning our campaign for Safer Internet Day and shared our ideas. Overall I learnt so much about cyberbullying from participating in the event.

Molly Hickey

Heywood Community School, Co. Laois

On 15th Jan 2020, my friend Emily and I went to the Webwise Google Training Day. We were split into groups with people from schools all over the country. I liked this because it was a good opportunity to talk to new people and swap ideas. Our groups were led by two members of the Youth Panel, people our age who helped us prepare for the Safer Internet Day Campaigns in our school. First, we did icebreakers to get to know each other. We received workbooks and learned from them about data footprints, online advertising and cyberbullying, which was all really interesting. I learned a lot of new things, such as how websites can use cookies to track customer data, which I had no idea of before. We designed posters in pairs using colours and stickers and two members from each group presented them to the room. Our Youth Panellists told us about what they did in their school the year before for Safer Internet Day. They asked each of us our ideas so far and gave us their feedback. This was helpful and made me think of new activities to do. I thought the Training Day was fun and a great experience and made me excited about organising our campaign. I felt much more prepared and informed on the topic of internet safety.

For Safer Internet Day in our school, we plan to run the campaign for a week. We are going to invite a guest speaker from the Gardaí to talk to classes, have a workshop for first and second years in the computer rooms and have an art and poetry competition in the school. We will expand our campaign outside of the school by having workshops in the local primary schools with a colouring competition and worksheets, and showing them a cartoon we designed to explain internet safety.

Alica McCormack
Scoil Mhuire Strokestown

Check out this video which captures just some of the highlights from the SID Ambassador Training Day 2020!

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