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Digital Leaders’ plans for the year ahead- the Digital Champions share their exciting plans to impact their school communities and support the programme

Published: 22nd October 2020

We have an exciting opportunity for qualified Secondary Digital Leaders to join our team of Digital Champions! Digital Champions are a group of Digital Leaders from across the UK who act as ambassadors for the programme.

The Digital Champions support the Childnet team, ensuring that the programme is youth led,  and they also represent Digital Leaders at events and in consultations. Our current Digital Champions have been involved in many aspects of the programme, from presenting the Young People’s Charter for Safer Internet Day 2020 to MPs  to testing new Digital Leader training modules.

If you are a Secondary Digital Leader who would like more responsibility in your role and to contribute towards the development of the programme, then don’t hesitate to apply to be a Digital Champion for 2020-21!

The information and application form to apply can be found here.  If you have any questions about applying to be a Digital Champion then please email [email protected]. Note that the deadline for applications is Friday 20th November.

What do the Digital Champions have planned for this year? How will they impact their school communities?

We can’t wait to see what all of our Digital Leaders achieve in their school communities this year. We asked our current Digital Champions about their plans for the year ahead and they shared some exciting ideas. Take a look at their answers below.

  1. What would you like to achieve in your school as a Digital Leader this year?

Maryam:  This year, at my school, we’re focussing on the reliability of the internet – more importantly, the dangers of fake news. After covering that module in the Digital Leaders Programme, some of us noticed that others were seemingly more gullible to internet facades. Although we depend on the internet for trustworthy advice, sometimes, more than others, are we faced with false information, which could impact us negatively. For example, thinking that a graze on the knee could be a potential fatal injury because the internet said so, does not necessarily mean that it’s true. Therefore, this year, the Digital Leader team at my school is trying to focus on educating the younger years and reminding the older years of what information is reliable and what isn’t so much (as due to the current COVID misinformation, it’s hard to tell what’s there to trust!).

  1. As a Digital Champion, what aspects of the programme do you hope to be/will you be involved in this year?

Cosima: This year as a Digital Champion, I would really like to get involved in the educational side of the Digital Leaders Programme. I think now more than ever, with everyone still being isolated (or partially), we are all online so much more. The internet can be a really positive and happy place to communicate, learn and just have a fun time. But as we know there are so many risks if you don’t know what to look for going into it. With this heightened amount of online use globally, there are just so many more opportunities for something to go wrong. Over the summer, I saw and experienced a lot of them. And so now, going into this year – I would like to put that experience and knowledge into use.

  1. What activities would you suggest to new Digital Leaders this year? In what ways could they impact their school community?

Aimee:  I would say that it is important to be open and approachable in a school community because it makes people more open to the idea of asking for help when they are stuck so any new Digital Leaders, and existing ones too, can try and set up small competitions to get people actively involved in learning about how to protect themselves and stay safe. You could also try to set up a small in-school forum where everyone can have discussion about online safety and hear other people’s opinions on the matter, it allows the entire school to bond and have fun, all while learning at the same time. Finally, I would recommend constantly having conversations with your Digital Leader team and getting to know each other because it makes it a lot easier to make an impact when you have a team supporting you. Make sure to enjoy yourself during the process!!!!

  1. What online safety topics will you be focussing on this year? What topics would you like to raise awareness and understanding of among young people?

Jess: As a Digital Champion, I would love to raise more awareness about Online Activism and the impact we, as young people, can make online. We all have a voice and we all have a platform, and I am really looking forward to being able to inspire others to use that voice to help express themselves and stand up for what they believe in. The online world can be an awesome place to share our beliefs and help spread awareness of things we care about, and I want to inspire others to do just that. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this next year as a Digital Champion entails, and I’m super excited to be able to help educate and inform others on what it means to be an Online Activist and how we can all use our voice to stand up for our beliefs.