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 and we hope that you will support it as well, by spreading the word and by encouraging your students 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.
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 is 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.
Digizen competitions are all well and good, but what about us students who chose to blog about other issues? Maybe more specific to educational reform… I’d like to see a category for general education student-run blogs. It’s not like cyber bullying is the only issue important to us…
I completely agree, and I’d love to have a more general category for young people next year. I’d love to have volunteers to help manage it as well! Our resources are really limited and we’re delighted to help promote Childnet’s competition rather than not have a specific category for the under 18s. Saying that – there are no age limits either way on any of our categories and nothing to stop anyone nominating.
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