To coincide with the start of the new school year Childnet, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, have launched a new Digital Leaders website, https://digital-leaders.childnet.com.
The new exciting website showcases the Digital Leaders Programme and highlights the impact that the programme has on young people and their school communities. The website includes information on how the Digital Leaders Programme works to help those that are interested in subscribing. This is delivered as part of Childnet’s work in the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, says:
“We have engaged 4500 young people across the UK through our online platform. Our trained Digital Leaders are actively championing digital citizenship and digital creativity within their school communities. We decided to launch a new website to showcase the incredible work they are doing and so that interested schools and other educational settings can find out more about the programme. These young people are leading the way in how to make online safety education engaging, relevant and impactful.”
The site will also feature regular Digital Leaders news updates and relevant blog posts so we the Digital Leaders have been up to while sharing their knowledge about online safety with their peers.
We have other upcoming exciting developments for the Digital Leaders programme including a guest login feature for school staff who would like a taster of what the platform has to offer. In the near future we will also be recruiting for Digital Champions, who will act as ambassadors and form an advisory board for the Digital Leaders Programme. Watch our film about the programme!
What do young people gain from the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme?
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme aims to empower young people to become internet safety role models within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online
Digital Leaders meet regularly with a designated teacher to go through the training modules on our fun and engaging online platform. Within the modules, Digital Leaders learn about a variety of internet safety topics. These include how to be a good friend online, and learning about their own digital footprints and the effects of their online actions.
Once Digital Leaders have finished their online training they are awarded with certificates and badges and ready to lead offline activities in their schools and communities, using their expertise to increase awareness about online risks.
The programme provides a great opportunity for students to work collaboratively in a team that spans year groups and have the exciting responsibility of being involved in online safety education within their school. It promotes leadership opportunities and Digital Leaders are encouraged to use their creativity to share their knowledge.
Many Digital Leaders choose to make resources to distribute to other young people or posters to display around the school. Digital Leaders also often hold assemblies or after school sessions for parents which can be a great chance for the students to present and talk about their online safety knowledge. The team at Childnet love to showcase the activities that Digital Leaders are doing within their school communities in the blog posts on our website and in the Digital Leaders monthly newsletter.
“I feel like I now have a deeper understanding of what I want to do to make the internet a better place.” – Secondary Digital Leader
By joining the programme, young people are getting involved in an innovative education project and join a UK-wide network of Digital Leaders. They are also encouraged to start and contribute to discussions on the ‘Community’ section of the platform with other Digital Leaders across the UK (Group Leaders can disable this feature for primary school students).
The programme also gives the young people opportunities to attend Childnet events and receive school visits from the Childnet team, giving the team the chance to showcase their work in person and discuss internet safety issues with experts.
We hear from Digital Leaders and teachers that students’ increased online safety knowledge brings in turn increased confidence in their own online activities, greater confidence in supporting their peers online and is reflected holistically in all areas of their school lives.
“Digital Leaders have enjoyed it and are enthusiastic. They worked really well as a team. They are becoming more confident and have enjoyed planning how to help each other.” – Teacher, Primary Digital Leaders School.
How does my school get involved?
It’s easy to get signed up to the programme or simply find out more.