From education to employment

Scouts launch Digital Citizen badge to equip young people with the tools they need to thrive in the online world and in the world of work

Nominet, the profit with a purpose company operating at the heart of the internet infrastructure, is helping the Scouts develop a new curriculum for its Digital Citizen badge to better equip young people, who have grown up in a society that is digital by default, with the tools they need to thrive both offline and online.  As sponsor of the Digital Citizen badge, Nominet will provide £170,000 over three years for the review, development and delivery of the updated badge which more than 474,000 youth Members will be able to achieve.

To develop the new curriculum for the badge, Nominet and The Scouts engaged digital research agency Unthinkable to embark on a four-month study into what it means to be a Digital Citizen in 2019.  The research found that separation of the digital and real world for many young people today doesn’t exist, with the digital and physical intertwined and equally real. As a result, the definition of the new digital citizenship new badge is:

The safe, responsible and ethical use of digital technology to exercise rights, support individual thriving, improve the lives of others and take positive social action in local, national and international communities.

The new curriculum being developed by the Scouts for the Nominet Digital Citizen badge will:

  • Base the curriculum on the real life needs, goals and aspirations of children and young people and explore how digital technologies can help Scouts address these goals and live their lives more fully
  • Ensure the badge is Citizenship-first, not digital-first: building a curriculum that equips young people for confident participation in the civic sphere
  • Be Place-based: Digital Citizenship should equip children and young people to be active citizens of the place where they live, not just of the internet as a separate domain
  • Look for ways to present Digital Citizenship that are both distinctive and in keeping with the Scouts’ purpose and values that isn’t duplicating what young people are learning elsewhere already

Following this research phase, the Scouts are now in the process creating the new set of educational resources for the Digital Citizen badge ready for an Autumn launch.

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of The Scout Association said:

“Working with Nominet to develop our Digital Citizen badge has given us access to invaluable industry expertise and funding to create this exciting programme for young people. These new materials will support our 474,000 youth members across the UK to learn valuable digital skills, which are essential for them to succeed in our rapidly evolving society.”

Eleanor Bradley, Managing Director of Registry Solutions and Public Benefit at Nominet says:

“Over the last 20 years our relationship with technology has changed beyond all measure and digital citizenship has become an incredibly important topic, often focused on ensuring young people are safe and responsible online and aware of their digital rights alongside social responsibilities. With the digital and physical so intertwined for young people, as part of our commitment to public benefit, we are thrilled to be creating a new badge with the Scouts that is fit for purpose and encompasses the challenges young people face today, both in the online and offline world.”

Matthew Shorter, director of the digital agency Unthinkable, who led the research said:

“With support from Nominet, through boldly applying to the field of digital the purpose and values that have always been central to the movement, the Scouts are uniquely placed to create a step change in the thinking around Digital Citizenship that should be useful for everyone.”

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