Today, 8 February, we celebrate Safer Internet Day 2022, the World Day for Safer Internet established by the European Commission to make girls and boys reflect on how to consciously use the web and the active role they can play by using it in a safe and positive way.
Over the years, the Day has become an important event for all involved in the sector, institutions and civil society organisations, and now involves more than a hundred countries worldwide. Together for a better internet is the slogan that has accompanied the event for many years now, underlining how everyone's commitment is the essential condition for a conscious and safe use of the web.
Many initiatives were organised by the Ministry of Education - coordinator of the project Generazioni Connesse - Connected Generations, the Italian Safer Internet Centre - together with the project partners: among them, webinars, live broadcasts and interviews with experts.
The national event takes place today at the Ministry of Education, from 10, with the Minister Patrizio Bianchi taking part. The starting point for the discussions at the meeting was the data from the research carried out by Connected Generations on the quantity and quality of the hours spent online by girls and boys in Italy.
According to the survey, the time spent online by young people is decreasing: 42% of respondents say they are online between 5 and 10 hours a day, compared to 59% in the same period last year. The number of girls and boys declaring themselves to be "always connected" will drop from 18% in 2021 to 12% in 2022, partly due to the gradual return to normality after the restrictions of the most difficult period of the pandemic. In the past year, the number of young people who claim to be better informed about the risks of the Internet has increased: 55% of young people claim to have received advice on online safety, especially from teachers.
During the first part of the morning's work, institutions, decision-makers and experts will meet young people from secondary schools to discuss the topics of the Better Internet for Kids Policies, i.e. the opportunities and critical issues related to the world of digital technologies. "Among those present," reads the Ministry of Education website, "there will also be the young 'activists' of the Youth Panel, made up of young people from schools registered with Connected Generations as representatives of successful Italian actions relating to the use of new technologies". This will be followed by two training webinars, organised by experts from the Safer Internet Centre and dedicated to teachers and students: they will discuss digital storytelling and web reputation, new teaching methods for digital citizenship, and the opportunities and risks of the Internet. The event is broadcast live on the Ministry of Education's YouTube channel and at www.generazioniconnesse.it.
Safer Internet Day 2022 also marks the start of the sixth edition of the Internet Safety Month communication campaign, promoted by the Ministry of Education and Connected Generations. During the month of February, schools throughout Italy and project partners are called upon to carry out activities to promote the principles of positive use of the web and technological tools. The methods used to participate are indicated on the Connected Generations website, on the dedicated page.
A noteworthy webinar, organised by the Department for Family Policies in cooperation with the NRC (National Research Council)'s Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies, is scheduled for today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meeting will provide an overview of the orientations, institutional activities, policies and the role of the social sciences in combating deviance, distress and violence among young people, particularly in relation to the Internet. "Socially critical factors influencing child and adolescent attitudes and behaviours will be discussed, with specific reference to the spread of Covid-19, reads the presentation, and the objectives, survey results and expected results of the Youth Trends Observatory project will be presented". This will be followed by a debate with institutional and third sector representatives working in the field and conclusions by the Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family, Elena Bonetti. The webinar programme, the link to the streaming service and information on the project are available on the Department's website, in the dedicated news item.
Other materials and news can be found on this site under the topic Internet and new technologies, which can be reached from the navigation menu "Topics".