Horncastle school takes the lead on digital citizenship

Banovallum Head teacher Grant Edgar, Lisa Belozerova from Google and Victoria Atkins MP, prior to Victoria speaking to the Year 10 students.
Banovallum Head teacher Grant Edgar, Lisa Belozerova from Google and Victoria Atkins MP, prior to Victoria speaking to the Year 10 students.

Victoria Atkins MP visited Banovallum School last Friday (June 22) to promote the importance of responsible digital citizenship in the 21st century.

Banovallum is one of just six schools nationally to work with Google, YouTube and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue to improve Year 10 students’ media literacy, critical thinking and digital citizenship, with the aim of encouraging young people to have a positive voice online.

A team of inspiring facilitators including the YouTube blogger, Myles, ran a series of workshops to teach teenagers about media literacy, critical thinking and digital citizenship, with the aim of encouraging the students to have a positive voice online.

The students were encouraged to examine their use of social media and to understand how they can be targeted and potentially manipulated in their thinking.

The afternoon saw students 
begin to understand how powerful ‘us versus them’ divisions can be, and asked them to think of where they have seen this rhetoric used online.

They saw how divisive arguments can lead to problems in society, as well as be wary of the consequences of labelling individuals and understand how certain online social environments 
can shape opinions.

This led on to the final session, entitled ‘Haters Gonna Hate’, which was designed to help the students understand what acceptable and unacceptable online behaviour is, and how to distinguish between hate speech and free speech.

It also showed the students how to react to hateful content online, including the use of various online tools such as reporting, flagging and blocking.

What made this session particularly powerful was the testimony of some students who had been the victims of unacceptable online behaviour, and the impact that it had.

Head teacher, Grant Edgar, said: “The students found the sessions exciting, challenging and thought provoking.

“Banovallum hopes to 
become a training hub for other schools in the county from September, when we will once again work with Google and YouTube to provide training for teachers to deliver the programme within their schools.”

Further information can be found here