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Be Strong Online comprises a series of online modules on digital resilience, designed to be delivered by young people for young people.

Be Strong Online

United Kingdom
Be Strong Online provides free resources on digital issues that young people all around the world face, like cyberbullying, social media, online privacy, selfies, gaming and much more! These resources are designed to be delivered by young people for young people (aged 11-18) and will empower them to be positive online role models and to help their peers to safely navigate the online world.
Introduction

What is the Be Strong Online programme?

“It's helped raise awareness around the school that we need to be more careful about what we post online. We're all together and learning about being safe online.”

Be Strong Online is a collection of peer-led digital resilience resources, made available by UK not-for-profit, The Diana Award. The Diana Award is proud to be the only charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world.

Be Strong Online contains free resources covering digital issues like cyberbullying, social media, online privacy, selfies, gaming and much more! The resources help young people to become positive online citizens whilst delivering sessions to their peers to help them to safely explore the digital world. 

They are available to download for free from our Be Strong Online platform and have so far been downloaded over 18,000 times by people all around the world! The majority of our resources are available in English; however, we have translated one of the modules, Selfies and Self-Esteem, into a further 5 languages.

These resources are designed to be delivered by young people for young people and will empower them to be positive online role models and to help their peers navigate the online world safely.

What's the need?

We know that there is a pressing need for online safety education programmes in schools. The Be Strong Online modules explore the positives and negatives of the online world, and how to cope with negative online situations. 

Research illustrates the challenges faced by young people online, for example:

  • More than a third of young people report being a victim of online bullying (Unicef) and this online bullying behaviour puts young people off using social media (Ofcom)
  • The majority of young people who have been bullied think that it was because of others’ attitudes towards their appearance (Ditch the Label). 41% of girls aged 17-21 are not happy with the way they look (Girlguiding UK) and 1 in 6 girls have missed school or work as a result of worrying about their appearance (Plan UK)
  • A quarter of 8-11s and 40% of 12-15s who use social media say they feel pressure to be popular on these sites or apps all or most of the time (Ofcom), and a fifth of young people who use social media have changed the way they look in an image before posting (The Diana Award)
  • Children aged 8-15 are spending more than twice as much time online as they did a decade ago and 59% of internet users consider themselves ‘hooked’ on their device (Ofcom)
  • 93% of children aged 10-15 play online games (ParentZone), and although they enjoy socialising through this unique form of play, it can be difficult to maintain positive social interactions online (Children's Commissioner)
  • A quarter of 12-15 year-olds don't think about whether information on a new site is true or not, and social media is an important source of news for young people despite being ranked as less trustworthy (Ofcom)
  • Although they face many online challenges, 61% of 12-15-year-old internet users do agree that the internet makes children’s lives better (Ofcom)

We use a peer-to-peer model

Be Strong Online uses a peer-to-peer model: this means that instead of adults teaching young people, it is young people who teach their peers (people in their school or youth group) by leading short digital skills and awareness sessions from our modules

We recognise that young people are the best agents for change in their schools and communities, and are best placed to relate to one another and help their peers learn about the online world. Teachers, educators and youth group leaders can help enable this peer-led model by bringing together teams of young people and supporting their delivery efforts.

The peer-led approach and the content within the modules provides a framework that allows Be Strong Online to be scaled up, and have reach all over the world. As young people have the flexibility to adapt the sessions to suit the need of their own school and country, the intervention can be transferred across educational contexts.

There are 10 topics to choose from

With the help of a staff member or youth group leader, young people select one of our 10 modules that they want to deliver to their peers. 

  • Digital Detox
  • My Digital Life
  • Cyberbullying
  • Digital Footprint
  • Peer Pressure Online
  • Selfies and Self-Esteem
  • Critical Thinking Online
  • Social Media
  • Power of Play
  • Coding and Creativity

After learning about the topic on the online platform and completing some practice training sessions, young people run short 20 minutes sessions with groups of their peers. 

Each module follows this format:

  • Intro 
  • Discussion about the topic (video) 
  • One 10 minute activity out of a choice of four
  • Wrap-up, hand out follow-up activity sheet and info sheets for students and parents

This peer-led format means that, wherever in the world these resources are being used, young people feel empowered to talk with each other about the digital issues that matter to them most.

The Diana Award continues to provide these resources free to schools all around the world. With a renewed funding partnership, we would be able to grow the programme by translating even more modules into other languages and updating content to meet specific priority areas and accessibility requirements across a variety of educational settings.

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Innovation Overview
11 - 18
Age Group
18 000
Children/Users
11
Countries
2015
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
362
Views
Tips for implementation
You will need access to the Be Strong Online platform and IT and printing facilities (although activities can be adapted to run without the need to print). You will also need a group of passionate young people to deliver the sessions! Feel free to adapt activities to include new trends in your area.
Contact information
T
Media

See this innovation in action

Videos featuring young people help users to explore each module!
Our Selfies and Self-Esteem module is available in 6 different languages! 
Module demo videos show the sessions in action! 

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

Spread of the innovation

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Head over to the Be Strong Online platform
The Be Strong Online platform contains everything you need to know about the programme including our 10 modules which are free to download!
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02
Gather a group of passionate young people
The modules are designed to be delivered by young people for young people.
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03
Decide which module to deliver first
There are 10 modules to choose from on topics such as Digital Detox, Selfies and Self-Esteem, Cyberbullying and more!
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04
Practice, practice, practice!
As a group, ensure that you practice your chosen module activities before you deliver them! Ensure that you publicise your sessions within your settings and have agreement from your school or youth club to do so.
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05
It's time to deliver your first Be Strong Online session!
These sessions are designed to be delivered to young people aged 11-18 and are designed to last around 20 minutes. You could deliver them in form times at school, lunch time clubs, youth group sessions....it's really up to you!
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