We are excited to announce that the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has received the prestigious Teach Primary Award!
Our Digital Leaders educational platform has received a highly commended award in the APPS category from the judge panel for the Teach Primary Awards! This incredible achievement is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovation put into our platform. We would like to express our gratitude to the schools, educators, and everyone else involved in our mission.
Here’s what the panellists had to say about the Childnet Digital Leader’s Programme:
“Childnet’s Digital Leaders Programme is an exceptional initiative that empowers young people to become confident and responsible digital citizens. This web-based platform, thoughtfully crafted by experienced educators in collaboration with young individuals, offers an engaging and educational experience.”
This recognition highlights the importance of our work in addressing the critical need for online safety knowledge and peer-to-peer leadership. Through the Digital Leaders Programme, our students have gained invaluable skills and knowledge, enabling them to navigate the digital world with confidence.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our amazing Digital Leaders, their schools, and all our partners for their unwavering support. This achievement would not have been possible without their passion and dedication.
To join the Childnet Digital Leader’s Programme and begin your journey of empowering young people to become responsible digital citizens, click here. We cover a wide range of topics, such as digital wellness, online privacy, and peer to peer learning, so your young people can contribute to a safer online environment while developing their leadership skills.
Once again, congratulations to all our Digital Leaders Team and everyone involved in making the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme a resounding success. Together, we are shaping a safer and more responsible digital future for young people.
Let’s continue to empower our Digital Leaders and inspire positive change in the digital world!
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is delivered as part of Childnet’s work in the UK Safer Internet Centre.
We recently caught up with our current Digital Champions to find out more about the role, what they have done, and to get their advice for any Digital Leaders thinking of applying.
What has been your favourite moment as a Digital Champion?
Cosima: Over the years there have been so many moments where I’ve been like ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this’ – but for me I think my biggest highlight as a Digital Champion has been interviewing Paul Scully (who used to be Minister for the Digital Economy) for Safer Internet Day in February 2023. As an A-level politics student, it was incredibly cool to get to research the Online Safety Bill and visit such an iconic place within politics. However, more importantly as a Digital Champion, it was so interesting to hear the government’s plans for improving online safety and rewarding to be able to hold them to account on protecting young people as they have such significant power available for change in the space.
What sorts of things have you done as a Digital Champion?
Dominik: As a Digital Champion we have gone out to many places such as the BT Tower in London and the Meta offices for some of our monthly catch ups. We take part in Safer Internet Day to promote safety online and we travel to the BT Tower to broadcast our message of online safety, we also do some community work such as surveys and other things such as blogs and talks with MPs.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying to be a Digital Champion?
Jayden: I’d say that if you have a passion for helping people and representing a safe internet for all young people, then I’d absolutely go for it. Be resilient and know that if you’ve applied before and not gotten the role, you can still apply! I got in the 2nd year I applied, so I’ve learnt this from experience. Finally, be yourself and be happy! The most important thing when applying for anything is to be positive and answer all the questions formally, as if you were speaking to a teacher.
Three of our Digital Champions – Aimee, Indira, and Lauren – are leaving their schools and the Digital Champions group. Although we are sad to see them go, we are confident that they will achieve great things! We recently caught up with them to learn about their experiences as Digital Champions.
What is your favourite thing you have done as a Digital Champion?
Aimee: I think my favourite thing to do as a Digital Champion would be between hosting the last Safer Internet Day in the BT Tower with Dominik, and speaking to MPs in Parliament with Cosima, because both allowed me to collaborate with people my age on a cause we cared deeply about whilst also educating a wider audience about issues we felt needed to be addressed.
Indira: My favourite thing is hard to identify because the opportunities I have had were all unforgettable. I loved Safer Internet Day both years and all of the meetings where I met new people and companies. I have learnt so many new things which I guess is my favourite thing.
Lauren: Aside from Safer Internet Day (which is always good fun), judging the Childnet Film Competition last year was amazing. Seeing all the creativity and talent these young people had and voicing the issues they wanted to in the video format was incredible and learning from the judges themselves was good too.
What is your most memorable moment as a Digital Champion?
Aimee: It would definitely be my first kick-off day as a Digital Champion because it was the first time I’d seen Facebook’s beautiful offices and also was the first time I met the team I would work with for the next 5 years! It was such a fun day full of amazing memories and the start of many long-lasting friendships.
Indira: My most memorable moment was Safer Internet Day! I was able to attend twice and was both part of a panel and then hosted the panels! It was amazing and the views from the top of the BT Tower in London were breathtaking and certainly nothing short of memorable!
Lauren: Safer Internet Day is always extremely memorable. I loved this year especially because I had multiple different opportunities to spread the messages I want to through doing media work. The day itself was memorable because I met up with some of the other Digital Champions in person (after seeing them online for such a long time) and other members of Childnet’s Youth Advisory Board. It was really inspiring to see so many youth voices being listened to.
What are you going on to do next?
Aimee: I’m going to study Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at Royal Holloway! I’m also going to continue my work in the online safety space, trying to come up with more solutions to issues brought up by young people every day!
Lauren: I am going on to sixth form to study maths, physics, and computer science as I have always loved those subjects. I am looking forward to opening more opportunities to use the skills and knowledge I have learned as a Digital Champion in the future.
What is your top piece of advice for someone thinking of applying to be a Digital Champion?
Aimee: Jump into the deep end and apply! As daunting as it may be at first, it will lead to so many amazing opportunities and priceless memories that you will never forget. It also gives you the platform to advocate for something you really care about.
Indira: My advice would be go for it! The platform gives young people a voice they otherwise would not have and it’s great fun!
Lauren: My top piece of advice as you become a Digital Champion would be to take every opportunity you get. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone quite a few times as a Digital Champion and have gained so much confidence and public speaking skills as a result. And to add to that, the team behind the Digital Champions and the other Digital Champions themselves are always really supportive so they always help out. As for applying to be a Digital Champion, I’d recommend you to consider a couple of things that you really care about and want to change, then speak about those because it really shows your passion for the role and what you will do with it.
We are thrilled to announce the exciting news that the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has been shortlisted for the Teach Primary Awards.
This remarkable achievement is proof of the hard work and dedication of our team, as well as the teachers and young people we work with.
At Childnet, we are proud to have developed a programme that has been recognised for its innovation and impact in promoting digital citizenship and online safety among young people.
What is the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme?
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is an innovative educational programme designed to help young people become more confident and responsible digital citizens. The programme provides training and support to young people, empowering them to become leaders in their schools and communities.
Through the programme, young people learn about various important digital issues, including online safety, cyberbullying, digital footprints, and social media. They also develop essential skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and leadership. To find out more about the Digital Leaders Programme, click here.
What are the TeachCo Awards?
The TeachCo Awards are a highly respected achievement that celebrates excellence in educational resources.
Joe Carter, the group editor at The TeachCo, says:
“We run a prestigious programme of awards across the education sector, celebrating the very best resources available to schools and nurseries. Clear criteria and expert judging panels ensure that every winner is truly worthy, which in turn means the results are eagerly anticipated by our audience. All finalists become part of a rolling promotion plan that puts them in front of thousands of teachers via e-marketing, online news stories, and extensive magazine coverage.”
We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of young people and to raise awareness about the importance of online safety knowledge and peer-to-peer leadership.
Why is this Significant
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme being shortlisted for the TeachCo Awards is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it recognises the vital work that the programme is doing to help young people become responsible digital citizens. The programme is helping to address a critical need in today’s society, as more and more young people spend time online.
Secondly, the shortlisting is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Childnet team, who have worked tirelessly to develop and implement the programme and its interactive platform. The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has already positively impacted many young people’s lives, and this recognition is a well-deserved accolade.
We are optimistic regarding the outcome of the awards, and to have made it onto the shortlist. The upcoming awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous efforts of our dedicated team and of all Digital Leaders too.
We remain committed to enhancing our platform’s features and services so that we can continue providing the highest quality of education to students. Furthermore, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners, schools, and educators for their invaluable feedback and for entrusting us with their students’ education. Our success would not have been possible without their support.
What activities have you taken part in as a Childnet Digital Champion?
Lucy: I have been lucky enough to be involved in many activities. I have taken part in two Safer Internet Days now, where for one I was part of a youth panel in a live event for UK Safer Internet Centre. I have also done a few calls with MPs to talk about the importance of online safety and what can be done about it, which have been really interesting! As Digital Champions, we also do regular focus groups with various companies such as Facebook which are always very informative and eye-opening!
How has the Digital Leaders programme benefited your school?
Aimee: The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has been beneficial to my school as it has given students the opportunity to take responsibility and learn about digital safety so that they are able to teach their friends, parents and teachers about a subject they are passionate on. It has even benefited those not directly in the programme because students in the school feel comfortable talking to Digital Leaders about issues or concerns they have with the online world.
Did you enjoy being part of Safer Internet Day 2022?
Cosima: Yes, very much so! It is great to be involved every year, but this year especially was really brilliant as the topic was so relevant to young people. I think by having a specific focus on gaming and relationships online it not only made everything we were talking about extremely relevant to the current issues, but also made it super fun to talk about. Being able to share experiences and advice with those who are not already so aware is such a rewarding experience as you know that it is going to positively benefit so many young people – especially with the interview this year reaching almost 2.5 million people! It is also as always lovely to meet and address so many new people and old friends and get to hear their views and opinions too. The biggest highlight for me was definitely the Safer Internet Day MP call as we really got to get into what issues were going on, why they were happening, and most importantly what could be done to change them!
Safer Internet Day reached more young people than ever – how did it feel to play your part?
Christtian: It feels great to know that I have made an impact in spreading awareness of Safer Internet Day. It is also nice to know that the people that you are telling about Safer Internet Day are, in fact, doing something about it, sharing it, spreading the word, etc. It feels brilliant knowing that more young people than ever before have been impacted by Safer Internet Day 2022 and knowing that I played a part in that as a Digital Champion.
What is the most important issue in online safety at the moment?
Alisa: I believe that online safety is such a wide topic that there’ll never be a way to choose a single problem as the most important. However, in my opinion, one problem that is caused by lack of awareness is the most important. That is sharing too much personal information online with strangers without thinking of the consequences. These actions taken by young people can lead to them getting in a variety of dangerous situations.
We are excited to announce that the new Childnet Digital Leaders training platform has been launched – and is ready for your school’s pupils!
Current Digital Leaders told us that they wanted a more interactive, customisable and visually appealing platform with more up-to-date features.
So, we have developed a new platform that is fun, engaging and promotes online safety learning in an enjoyable and safe way. Features such as badges, points and modules completed are more easily accessible from the home page.
It also has new features such as a Team Leaderboard where Digital Leaders can compete with their classmates, a virtual companion who guides and encourages them through the learning content, unlockable customisable backgrounds and more.
We have updated our learning content, covering many of the issues relevant to young people. The new platform is more accessible for those with special educational needs too, with plain background options and subtitles on every video.
We have worked with our Digital Champions to ensure that we have attuned the platform to the needs of young people, and we thank them for all their hard work.
Existing Digital Leader schools
If you’re already a qualified Digital Leader – don’t worry! You’ll still be a Childnet Digital Leader even though the platform and learning content is different. In fact, existing Digital Leaders will be awarded our exclusive Digital Leaders Legacy badge!
Please see our guidance document with all the information teachers need about the new features, including how to enable your team to have access to the new platform.
Existing Digital Leader schools have until the end of this academic year to complete their training on the current platform. Schools will be automatically migrated to the new platform after 31 July 2022.
About Digital Leaders
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is a youth leadership training programme empowering young people to educate their peers about online safety.
Groups of Digital Leaders complete training on an interactive, informative and fun gamified platform. They work through online modules, equipping them with the skills they need to go on to educate and support their peers.
Find out more about the benefits to pupils, teachers and schools here.
Childnet Digital Leaders and Digital Champions helped Safer Internet Day 2022 reached more than half (54%) of young people in the UK aged 8-17.
This year’s event, which took place on February 8th and focused on online games, saw more than 3,000 organisations across the UK register as supporters – helping to make it the most successful Safer Internet Day ever.
Co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day has grown to become a fixture in the calendar of schools and many other organisations, spanning the internet industry, charities, government and police services.
Childnet Digital Leaders and Digital Champions were at the heart of Safer Internet Day – appearing in live events at BT Tower and Westminster on the day, speaking to the media, and contributing to the research and Young People’s Charter.
More confidence online
As a result of this year’s Safer Internet Day, 80% of young people reached now feel more confident about what to do if they are worried about something online, with 84% having a better understanding of how to stay safe playing online games, and 42% talking to a friend about using the internet safely.
Additionally, Safer Internet Day is generating conversations between children and young people, and their parents, carers, and teachers. 67% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds reached reported that they have spoken to their children about playing online safely, and 69% said they understand more about how to keep their child safe online.
Overall, 32% of UK parents and carers of 8-17 years olds heard about Safer Internet Day in 2022, a 6% increase when compared to 2020. Furthermore, 41% of teachers reported that the day led to disclosures about potential safeguarding issues online.
Will Gardner,OBE, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, commented:
“We know that the amazing work across the UK for Safer Internet Day has a measurable impact on our young people and, after reaching more than ever this year, it’s a pivotal time to reflect on how we take this support beyond the day itself.
“Internet safety is more important than ever, and last week’s Ofcom research reinforces what we know – there are challenges for young people to overcome online, but if we give them the tools it can have a positive impact on their lives.
“It’s crucial that we continue pushing the internet industry to play its part, but also to reach out and engage others to help support and empower our nation’s young people.
“We’re calling on the government, policymakers, and the industry to take the conversation beyond just a day and come together for a better internet.”
Media requests: For more information and to arrange interviews, please get in touch with the Safer Internet Day team at [email protected]
The 13th Childnet Film Competition has been officially launched – and is once again open to Digital Leader schools across the UK.
Following the success of this year’s Safer Internet Day on February 8th, Childnet are asking young people to create a short film or storyboard exploring the theme of All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online.
Online games have become an increasingly popular way for young people to connect with their real-life friends virtually, following a period of multiple lockdowns and school closures. 85% of young people say they are using online games and apps to spend more time with their friends than ever before.
Harnessing the positive power of connection through online games, a further 74% of young people say it can teach them important skills such as concentration and teamwork.
However, Film Competition participants are invited to draw upon any part of this year’s theme. Whilst they could focus on ‘games’, they can also look at ‘respect and relationships’ online or find a way to incorporate both!
At a time when young people are using the internet more than ever, we want them to take the lead and create short films exploring key themes such as:
How can they play their part in making online gaming a safe and enjoyable experience?
How can they look out for others when playing games online?
What life skills do they learn from playing online games?
What does it mean to foster ‘respect and relationships’ online?
Provided their film focuses on positivity online and will help fellow young people stay safe on the internet, participants have full creative license!
Schools and youth groups have until Wednesday 8th June to submit all film or storyboard entries.
Our panel of judges will make the tough decisions of who wins the prizes in the Childnet Film Competition 2022. The panel are experts from a range of exciting organisations in the film and TV industry – look out for more about them in the coming weeks.
By entering the Childnet Film Competition, schools and youth groups could win a great filmmaking equipment prize, including a DSLR camera. For our storyboard category, the winner of each age category will win a professional graphics pen and storyboard sketch book to help them capture every story idea.
Everything you need to know about taking part, together with categories and entry packs, can be found here.
Amongst the Childnet Digital Leaders involved was Alisa, who joined MPs for a Q&A event to share her experiences of being online and her recommendations for how this space can be improved for young people.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, was particularly impressed, and took the time to send Alisa a letter congratulating her on being involved in the day:
I am writing to you as your MP to offer my warmest congratulations on your participation as a Digital Leader at the Safer Internet Day Q&A event earlier this month.
I’m very sorry I couldn’t join you, but I wanted to let you know that I’m incredibly proud of young people in Brighton – such as yourself – for sharing their experiences with technology and the online world.
Conversations around online safety are particularly crucial for children and young people who have had to spend much of their time online over the past two years due to the pandemic – and thank you for stepping up and showing such leadership.
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is an excellent opportunity to empower young people and their peers to talk about online safety in schools, and for MPs to hear from about real life experiences and be better informed to make important policy decisions that will affect future generations.
Thank you again for your hard work in this area, and I wish you all the best for the remainder of your training programme and beyond.
Has your Childnet Digital Leader school registered as an official supporter of Safer Internet Day yet?
We are overjoyed at the stream of support for Safer Internet Day 2022, which takes place on February 8th, and are delighted to announce that the supporters list has already reached over 1,600!
The supporters list showcases the activities taking place across the UK on Safer Internet Day to promote the safe and positive use of technology.
With less than two weeks to go, we highly encourage your school to sign up as a supporter if you haven’t already.
Once registered, you will receive a certificate to show your support for the day and, following review, your logo, school name and supportive statement will appear on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.
With your help, Safer Internet Day can reach more young people, educators, parents and carers than ever before.
Unsure of how to celebrate Safer Internet Day? Take a look at the full supporters list for inspiration.