Childnet’s Digizen Cyberbullying Competition for 14-19 year olds

We talked a lot last year about how we’d like to run a competition
showcasing how young people were using social software to engage with
local and global communities, and develop their own voices online. The
Edublog Awards
are run as a voluntary effort and we just weren’t
confident that we could expand the awards in terms of the category
requests we were getting (you’ll notice that we run to 20 categories
this year – double the number we’ve previously had), and in terms of
providing young people with a really high quality awards programme.

I’ve been fortunate to work with charity Childnet International
this year – one of the worlds leading e-safety organisations, whose
mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help
make the internet a great and safe place for children. Childnet provide
a wide range of high quality resources
covering topics including blogging, mobile phones, data protection,
file sharing, aimed at young people, parents, carers, and schools. Most
recently I’ve been working with them on their Digizen site – an amazing media literacy project which covers cyberbullying issues, and advice on using social networking services in education.

Childnet have a long history of running internationally based young peoples competitions
which focus on the responsible use of technologies, and in supporting
young people to models great practice. The Edublog Awards are delighted
to be promoting Childnet’s brand new Digizen competition
(we’ve included the competition under category 19) and we hope that you will support it as well, by spreading the word and
by encouraging young people to enter – or even supporting the
production of entries in your school councils, or in your subject areas
– citizenship, drama, English or IT for example.

Digizen frontpage

The competition is open to young people between the ages of 14 and
19 who are in formal education, or who are being home schooled. There
are main two criteria for entries:

1. Entries should address some aspect of cyberbullying.

This could be around a specific type of cyberbullying, or a
particular debate or issue to do with cyberbullying. Any format or
approach is allowed – it could be a videoed discussion, a comic about a
students experience or views, a podcast of a radio show, reviews of
resources. The entries should be targeted at their peers or at younger
children. They don’t need to be huge, overly complex or ultra slick –
they do need to be thoughtful, interesting and engaging. One example of
a potential entry could be a short discussion of why mobile phones
might be banned in response to cyberbullying incidence in school, and
whether or not this might be effective. A student could record
this on their mobile and upload it to a video hosting site, inviting
other students to leave their comments.

You can get more ideas about the range of issues cyberbullying touches on over at the Digizen site.

2. They must be online

Entries can be in the form of websites, blogs, social network site
profiles or groups, and can be audio, visual or text based. Once
entries have been posted online you can submit your students work here. Find out more information about the competition terms and conditions over at the Digizen site.

We’ll be updating on the competition at the awards in December (the
Digizen competition doesn’t close for entries until January 31 2008) –
and we hope to be able to highlight some of the examples of the entries
to date.

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