Research by the UK Safer Internet Centre suggested that teachers weren’t confident in approaching topics around Digital Literacy and Online Safety. They found that assumptions were often made as to the competence of children to use technology safely and responsible because they appeared confident in doing so.
But the BBC Teach team believed that confidence should not be confused with competence and put together a brief for a content series to provide secondary school age children with guidance in this area.
The online landscape can give us a false sense of security: it seems to protect our identity and our actions seem to have fewer or even no consequences. This false sense of invisibility and security can lead us to do things that we would never dream of doing in real life which may have dramatic and sometimes life changing consequences.
We wanted to make our audience acutely aware of the actual effects of their online actions, to understand some of the pitfalls of certain online behaviours and make them knowledgeable on topics such as fake news, echo chambers, digital footprints and more.
Our chosen route of animation with expert-led advice helped us blend real-life stories and examples of topics such as fake news, online trolling, gaming, live-streaming.
By giving an example via a real testimony or showcasing it via metaphor through actors, we brought the learning to life in ways that our student audience could relate to. This helped them understand that they were not invulnerable to issues online and enabled them to hear from peers who had been through similar experiences to them.
Through a ten episode series, we were able to tell many stories related to our key topics and at the same time, covering wider curriculum points around PHSE, Computing and Citizenship. We also provided a film for teachers, presented by three subject matter experts who advised on how to best use the materials with students in the classroom and beyond.
You can view the series here: