Webwise is the is the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre funded by the Department of Education and co-funded by the European Commission.
Helping Schools and Families Keep Children Safe Online
Webwise promotes safer, better internet use through awareness raising and education initiatives targeting teachers, children, young people and parents. Webwise develops and disseminates resources that help teachers integrate digital citizenship and online safety into teaching and learning in their schools. Webwise also provides 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, Webwise develops youth-oriented awareness raising resources and training programmes that promote digital citizenship and address topics such as online wellbeing, cyberbullying and more. The work of Webwise aligns to the pillar 3 of the Digital Strategy for Schools, supports the Cineáltas: Action Plan on Bullying.
Webwise is part of Oide Technology in Education, part of Oide, a new support service for teachers and school leaders, funded from the Department of Education.
Oide Technology in Education promotes and supports the integration of ICT in teaching and learning in first and second level schools. It is part of the national support service, Oide, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills. The functions of Oide Technology in Education were previously the responsibility of the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE). The NCTE was integrated into the PDST in June 2012 and became part of Oide on September 1st, 2023.
The main functions of Oide Technology in Education fall into the following areas:
- Providing advice and developing policy proposals for the Department of Education on issues related to the development and use of digital technologies in the Irish education system
- Providing relevant and up to date Digital Technology advice and support to schools on a range of technology-related areas to assist in achieving a high-quality digital technology infrastructure to support learning and teaching
- Coordinating the Schools Broadband Programme for all primary and post-primary schools, and managing the Broadband Service Desk as a single point of contact for schools to support the delivery of online content and learning resources
- Designing and implementing a comprehensive programme of continuing professional development in the use of digital technologies for teachers and school leaders
- Developing and maintaining the educational website portal Scoilnet, providing access to over 23000 teacher-reviewed resources
- Promoting the autonomous, effective, and safer use of the internet by young people through a sustained information and awareness strategy from Webwise targeting parents, teachers, and children
- Developing digital content resources and providing access to digital content tools that are relevant to the Irish curriculum
- Providing information and advice to other educational agencies on the use of digital technologies for educational purposes
- Undertaking research on best practice in the use of digital technologies in education
Since 2008, Webwise is part of the Safer Internet Ireland consortium and partners with ISPCC Childline, Hotline.ie and the National Parents Council (NPC) under the umbrella of the Irish Safer Internet Centre to provide a range of complementary online safety services.
The Irish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) vision is a positive and inclusive digital world where children are safe and protected. The Irish SIC is a partnership of four leading organisations with a mission to make the Internet a better place for children and young people, under the co-ordination of the Department of Justice, Cybercrime Division.
As one of 31 Safer Internet Centres of the InSafe-InHope Networks, the Irish SIC contributes to the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) core service platform to share resources, services and practices between the European Safer Internet Centres and advice and information about a better internet to the general public. In line with the European Commission’s Better Internet for Kids+ strategy, the key vision behind the BIK core service platform is to create a better internet for children and young people.
The project partners are:
- Webwise.ie. This is part of the Oide Technology in Education in the Department of Education. It deals with awareness raising, develops materials and programmes for schools and runs the annual event for Safer Internet Day in Ireland
- Hotline.ie. Hotline.ie is the Irish national reporting centre where members of the public can securely, anonymously, and confidentially report concerns in respect of illegal content online, especially child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
- ISPCC Childline. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) operates the helpline (Childine), which provides services on a 24/7 basis where children affected by issues encountered on the internet may turn for advice and guidance
- NPC Primary. The National Parents Council Primary operates the parent/adult helpline, a dedicated helpline to deal with issues relating to internet safety, including cyberbullying. The NPC also provides parents with training courses, both online and face to face
View Irish Safer Internet Centre Public Report
What are Safer Internet Centres?
Safer Internet Centres are national hubs established in Member States across Europe and in Iceland and Norway, which provide a suite of complementary essential services in synergy with the four pillars of the European Better Internet for Children+ Strategy (BIK+ Strategy), namely:
- A safe digital environment to protect children from harmful and illegal online content.
- Empower children in the digital world and give them the necessary skills to make safe choices and express themselves online.
- Improve children’s active participation, with more child-led activities to foster innovative and creative digital experiences.
More information can be found here: gov.ie/en/policy-information/cybercrime
In addition to the Insafe network; Webwise are active members of the Media Literacy Ireland Network, are a member of the MLI Steering Committee and a member of the European TeaMLit network