Scouts for internet safety

This Safer Internet Day, we’re launching two new activities and a Fun Badge to develop young people’s online skills. Created in partnership with Nominet, these new resources are vital for gearing up young people for the future.  Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry Solutions & Public Benefit from Nominet, tells us more about the resources and the role they play in making savvy digital citizens and keeping young people safe.

Today, internet safety is a priority on the list of life lessons for young people, but it can be one of the hardest for parents and teachers to instruct. The generation that grew up in an analogue world often struggles to influence those who are growing up digitally. I speak from experience: my children are much more digitally ‘savvy’ than me, adopting new trends and mastering apps so quickly, that it’s easy to forget that they may lack the maturity to understand the risks or recognise the dangers they can present.

That’s why Safer Internet Day is such an important date on the calendar. Established in 2011, this international day is spearheaded in the UK by Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and South West Grid for Learning, while being part-funded by the European Union and a section of the Insafe-INHOPE network.

At Nominet, we mark the event each year by sharing advice and highlighting the importance of internet safety for young people. As guardian of the .UK namespace, promoting safety and security is paramount. And it’s an increasingly complex challenge. As a registry, we collaborate with the Internet Watch Foundation to tackle child abuse images and videos and work with law enforcement agencies to suspend domains used for criminal ends.

But we know that to tackle a challenge as huge as internet safety requires savvy citizens. And so, for this year’s Safer Internet Day we’ve developed a specific Scouts badge to help reach more young people with these important messages.

The Safer Internet Day Badge helps young people develop two all-important skills – spotting fake news and being aware of their digital footprint. Classed as a Scouts ‘Fun Badge’, it can be completed in a single, interactive session. Importantly, it’s been carefully developed to build the critical thinking skills and nurture the resilience required for a young person to be aware of online risks and to then put them into practice.

With over 400,000 boys and girls part of UK Scouts, this badge is a powerful way to spread awareness and will, we hope, start to form new habits and behaviours amongst our younger digital citizens.

It’s also complementing the ongoing work at the Scouts to be more digitally-minded, transforming an organisation that was established for a very different world in 1922. Lara Burns, Chief Digital Officer at the Scouts, is spearheading this transformation and has incorporated some of the badge’s curriculum into staff training too. As Lara says, “Scouts aren’t the only ones that need these skills – digital skills are life skills now.”

That said, young people are a critical audience because their youth and relative naivety can place them in greater danger online. As they grow up, young people don’t always listen to their parents, and teachers can only do so much, so an organisation like Scouts can provide the sort of input that this demographic may not get, or be receptive to, from other sources.

We can’t deny the increasing role digital devices and the internet play in young peoples’ emotional growth, relationship forming and learning. All we can do as responsible adults is to provide them with the tools and information to behave as good citizens, online as well as off. The Safer Internet Day Badge is a small part of making that happen.

But it’s worth remembering that adults don’t always have all the answers. Scout or not, perhaps we can all take a moment on Safer Internet Day to consider our own behaviours online, and focus on being good, safe digital citizens.

Give your young people the skills they need to safely navigate the online world by sharing these activities; Yes, no, maybe and Digital detectives, and helping them achieve their Safer Internet Badge.

Find out more information about our partnership with Nominet.

Digital Day: Building Scouts Digital with Raspberry Pi’s Olympia Brown

We’ve had to keep it secret for weeks, but with today’s announcement of our partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we are happy to share their contribution to Digital Day. If you are not already familiar, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity dedicated to teaching computer science skills to young people. They are best known for the small and affordable Raspberry Pi computer. This basic and customisable PC is the best selling British computer ever. They also host seminars and workshops across the world to teach people of all ages about computer science.

They were a big part of Digital Day where we announced our partnership with them on the Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge and they led workshops about teaching digital skills. The Scouts are working with Raspberry Pi on several projects, from those workshops at our Digital Day to the full redevelopment of our Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge. The new badge requirements move away from computer science to using digital skills to solve problems, build resilience, help their communities and express themselves. The partnership is bringing a whole new set of activity resources that leaders can use with their group as well as innovative ‘How-to’ videos. The design of the badge has also been updated to reflect the essence of the partnership. Much more is to come as the Scouts and Raspberry Pi are working to ensure the badge is accessible to all members. Talks about training leaders and development of kits are happening, so stay tuned!

Below Olympia Brown, Senior Programme Manager for Youth Partnerships at Raspberry Pi, talks with us about our partnership, the Digital Day, and Scouting.

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An introduction to Enterprise Architecture

In this blog post, I am going to explain, as best as I can, what Enterprise Architecture is, what it means for the Movement and why I am one of the first team members. I’ll start by explaining my role.

Rather than being the kind of architect who deals with the materials and design of a building, I deal with the building blocks of an organisation or ‘enterprise’. These building blocks are:

  • people (who make thing happen)
  • information (the material they work on)
  • process (the way things get done)
  • technology (the tools to get things done)

My role is to fix behind-the-scenes information, process and technology problems to help make working and volunteering at Scouting easier. My goal is to simplify the delivery of Scouting.

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