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Hwb Safer Internet Day short film competition winners announced

Digital Trainer and competition judge, Mike O’Hara gives us his take on this year’s contest to promote online respect in Wales

As part of Safer Internet Day 2022, Welsh Government’s Hwb team launched a short-film competition for Primary and Secondary school aged children – and I had the privilege of representing DCW as a member of Hwb’s judging panel!

The theme for the short films this year was ‘Respect me. My internet, my rights’. Those entering were encouraged to express their creativity while sharing their understanding of respect online, by creating a short film of 2 minutes or less.

If the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we need the internet more than ever to connect with our friends, family, teachers and schoolmates. It’s the fastest way to find news and information, while gaming and other online collaborative spaces have enabled us to feel connected and engaged with each other, even when the outside world seemed to be grinding to a stop. The UK Safer Internet Centre even reported that we gamed online a massive 77% more often during the recent pandemic!

With us being online more, there’s naturally a higher chance of being exposed to the various dangers of the internet. Following campaigns like Safer Internet Day mean we better understand what negativity exists in these spaces and how we’re able to help others to lead by example to create a better internet for everybody!

After watching the video entries for Hwb’s short film competition, it’s was so reassuring to see that children who entered in Wales had an idea of what online respect looks like, in that if you wouldn’t say mean things to someone’s face, you shouldn’t do it online either! Every video we saw as judges gave brilliant top tips for staying safe and respecting people online and left us feeling positive about the future of internet safety for the next generation.

It was such an honour to be a panel member, and so exciting to watch the various entries. Everyone who entered did a fantastic job, and every person should be proud of what they have achieved. However, in the end, the panel was unanimous in its decision, but I am sure that when you see the winning entries, you will agree that they all did an excellent job of promoting the message of ‘Respect me. My internet, my rights‘. Make sure to watch the winning films from both the Primary and Secondary school aged categories above!

Even though this year’s Safer Internet Day celebrations are almost over, knowing how to be safe online matters all year round. Make sure to visit the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website for helpful advice on online issues faced by children from bullying and gaming to misinformation and coercion.

Written by Mike O’Hara, Digital Inclusion Trainer at Digital Communities Wales

Video length: 12:55