Pupils’ cyber-bullying film to form part of national online safety programme

A hard-hitting student video showing the dangers of cyber-bullying is to become part a national programme that aims to keep kids safe online.

Global cloud-computing security firm, Trend Micro, announced yesterday that the video, shot by the transition year students of Coláiste na Toirbhirte in Bandon, Co Cork, has won its “What’s Your Story” competition.

The company said it will now use the footage in its nationwide Internet Safety for Kids and Families programme, which has been shortlisted for the ICT Excellence Awards, to be announced tomorrow.

Cork-based Trend Micro ran the What’s Your Story competition to promote awareness about online safety among school children in Ireland. It was the first time the competition was run in this country.

Students were invited to talk about ways to stay safe online by entering a drawing, a poem, a song or a video about online safety.

Judges said the Coláiste na Toirbhirte students’ two-minute black and white Hiding Online video grabbed their attention because the film captured the essence of cyber-bullying and offered advice on how to deal with this issue.

They were presented with a €3,000 cheque. Other winners included:

* Megan O’Reilly, a student at Conna NS, in Co Cork, for her for her Safe Surf Code;

* Maria Butt, from Loreto College, Mullingar, for her poem, Don’t share because they don’t care;

* John Carr, from Mallow, Co Cork, for his song, Be Safe;

* and the school prize was won by the transition year class at Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane, Cork, for their rap, Don’t talk to a stranger.

CBC Monkstown Junior School and Liam Hannigan of St Josephs BNS in Terenure received special commendations.

Avril Ronan, a senior operations manager with Trend Micro, said: “Our research shows that a third of children aged 11 to 15 years, admit to taking more risks online than in real life, so there’s never been a better time to remind children that the internet is a power tool and using it is an important life skill.”

Coláiste na Toirbhirte’s transition year co-ordinator Siobhán Fitzgerald said the students were attracted to the competition because social networking plays such a big part in their lives.

“It is very relevant and very real to young people everywhere and we really do need to raise more awareness about online safety and responsibility,” she said.

The judging panel included Simon Grehan, from Webwise and the National Centre for Technology in Education, Marcela Whelan, from the Cork City Learning Forum, David Girvan from Reassureme.com, and Marianne Lee from Trend Micro.

Winning video

* The winning video can be viewed by clicking here

* You can view the other ‘What’s Your Story’ competition submissions at www.trendmicro.ie/whatsyourstory

* And you can get tips and advice on online safety from Trend Micro’s digital citizenship advocate Lynette Owens, a pro-technology parent, online-safety advocate, and blogger, at:www. internetsafety.trendmicro.com

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