Project Description

Client
In-house project

Partners
Nominet Trust, Tower Hamlets Council, Demos, Wikimedia UK, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

The brief
Bold Creative found, through meeting young people for other projects, that they both trusted and used the internet more than any other generation, but were not always savvy, critical consumers of online content. They lacked digital judgement and because formal education struggles to fill their knowledge gaps, those in a position to teach these skills also lacked the training and materials to do so.

As the digital world plays an increasingly central role in how we all learn and form opinions about the world and each other, it is now critical to be able to tell the good information from the bad and to ably navigate the grey area of opinion in the middle.

What we did
Bold established Digital Disruption to create and supply tools and training that young people need to be savvier, more discerning internet users. The aim of this project was to improve young people’s digital judgement combining ‘traditional’ critical thinking skills, such as source verification, with ‘new’ knowledge about how the digital world works, such as understanding search engines and YouTube.

We:

  • Created tools through real engagement and co-creation with young people. Tower Hamlets Council was our partner for the pilot project.
  • Worked with a group of 13-19 year olds in the pilot phase to investigate how the content they saw online influenced them and shaped their opinions. Vulnerable young people from this community who were identified as ‘at risk of radicalisation’ lacked skills to challenge and disrupt extremist messages online.
  • Showed young people how to recognise and deconstruct propaganda, and therefore protect themselves against extremism. Our group of co-creators produced four films with Bold on understanding propaganda which have become foundations of the Digital Disruption project.
  • Trained the group of young people to deliver ‘lead workshops’ to disseminate knowledge to their peers.
  • Equipped educators with the skills and resources they need, yet often lack, to effectively teach digital judgement in the classroom.
  • Launched a bespoke website as a one-stop-hub for teaching these critical digital judgement skills across the curriculum.
  • Freely distributed teaching resources and lesson plans are provided online for teachers to use.
  • Hosted a blog to show the various stages and development of the project. http://blogs.boldcreative.co.uk/digitaldisruption/

Through all this work, Digital Disruption has armed young people with the skills they need to engage with the internet on their own terms. Our tailored workshop programmes allows young people to discover for themselves the techniques and scams that are used to manipulate them online. It is a project which also challenges and disrupts extremist messages on the internet by building resilience in vulnerable communities.

Success

  • Digital Disruption is now a national programme and endorsed by organisations such as Wikipedia, CILIP, Nominet, AVE Network, ACPO, Vodafone and Google and used by frontline staff at Youth Justice Board, Wandsworth Council and UK wide youth workers.
  • Our four films had over 100k views on YouTube with no promotion or distribution – just word of mouth
  • Government Office for London Innovation Award (GOL) 2010

A conspiracy film we made with young people:

How we made it: