[Summary: Ideas for online citizenship, digital youth work and e-safety programmes]
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Jonathan and Jackie from the E-Safety Sub-Group of Brent Local Safeguarding Children Board to develop ideas for a range of projects and programmes that could be run in the Borough to promote positive online citizenship amongst young people.
Brent LSCB have long been leaders in the drive to encourage every local authority to have an e-safety group within their Local Safeguarding Children Boards – and in encouraging organisations working with young people to have e-safety co-ordinators. Refreshingly their focus has not just been on a narrow definition of e-safety and safeguarding – but they have pro-actively recognised the importance of supporting young people to thrive online and be active online citizens as a means to promote online safety. And they have been very kind in letting me share the project and strategy ideas we developed.
The document sets out a small portfolio of projects – some specific to the work in Brent – but, along with the critical questions I shared from this document previously, hopefully also provides a few general purpose projects that others working on e-safety might find useful. In particular:
- The Content Creators (PDF) project proposal sets out a process for encouraging young people to consider online safety through creating digital media in their local areas. In particular, it works alongside the Critical Questions framework in the main document to suggest a series of stages of planning and working on online content with young people that provides opportunities to consider and reflect upon key online safety issues.
- The proposal for Skill Swap sessions (PDF) suggests ways of getting young people to teach each other about online tools and technologies – and suggests using this as an opportunity to add in some e-safety messages. Underlying a skill-swap model, where young people are encouraged to teach each other about managing their online identities and keeping safe is a belief in building young people’s resiliency, rather than putting up barriers to protect young people; and a thesis that, given the right opportunities for reflection and discussion, young people are able to identify relatively unprompted, many of the steps they may need to take to be safe online.
Both Content Creators and Skill Swap sessions have possible use in digital mentor style programmes with young people.
- The Connection Hubs proposal (PDF) has a slightly different focus – on online outreach and taking content to where young people are. It outlines a possible strategy for having a core project presence online, and then ‘hubs’ out in different social media and social networking spaces to be able to engage with the online communities of young people in those spaces. It also fits with the idea of having a content strategy rather than a web strategy.
All the above are under a Creative Commons licence, and are very much initial ideas and sketches of possible projects. Brent LSCB have only been able to take a few of them forward at the moment, but hopefully in allowing them to be shared there may also be some value in here for other organisations exploring e-safety.
And of course – your feedback, reflections and comments (and edits even – let me know if you would like to Open Office/Word originals to work on) to help improve these would be most welcome.