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Youth Guest Blog: Childnet Digital Leaders from Woodford County High School

Published: 18th April 2016

We caught up with Arighni, a pupil from Woodford County High School who shared her team’s experiences of the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme, which is up for a national award (find out more and vote here!)

Guest blog:

Today we have the world compressed into a six inch screen. The internet. Twenty years ago the internet was a privilege that could be retrieved after at least ten minutes of buzzing from the dial-up modem. Now it’s a necessity at our fingertips which we use every day.

Since November last year, a handful of Woodford girls have been completing the Childnet training to become qualified digital leaders. Four months ago, we expected the typical sessions which repeated the ‘don’t talk to strangers online’ and ‘don’t hand out personal information like chewing gum’ – things we had heard about countless times before. However, Childnet recognised this and educated us about the optimistic aspects, how to create a kinder internet while schooling us about how we should respond to concerns from our peers.

Having recently completed our training we are excited to show the school what we have learnt with plans of using programming to showcase our advice.

The youth team take the lead on Safer Internet Day….

Woodford celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID) on the 9th of February and it was the Childnet team’s responsibility to plan activities for the day to pass on what we have learnt.

Our planning started a couple of weeks prior to SID with a webinar with other schools also enrolled on the digital leader program. We had some ideas ourselves but were inspired by the plans other schools shared with us.

At the start of the day, computers across the school had a new desktop background promoting SID. During PSHCE our goal was to enlighten our fellow students about the positives of the internet as well as the online risks that could be faced. We threw ourselves into the #shareaheart campaign as it allowed us to easily get our message across in a way everyone could understand; we had students design their own #shareaheart poster and got them to engage in class activities, discussions and debates about ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ internet .

After the school day ended, five of us headed up to the school library for another webinar this time talking about how to protect yourself from online risks like cyberbullying and viruses with other schools from the borough and two metropolitan police officers. It was certainly a new experience and it was a privilege to be a part of it.

After having this training, planning a lesson for my peers and attending two webinars I can certainly say that being a digital leader has taught me a lot. Not only about the internet, but it has helped me develop my presentation skills and I have learnt how to engage people as well as help and support them. I am very excited for what is still to come.

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