What is Be Strong Online?
Be Strong Online is a free peer-to-peer training resource from The Diana Award and Vodafone to help students explore the digital world.
The programme covers different aspects of the online world, from gaming and selfies to privacy, apps and social networking. Be Strong Online covers a wide range of topics to look at all aspects of young people’s digital lives. Not just privacy and online communication, but looking too at social media, gaming, selfies and more. By delivering Be Strong Online, students will develop a number of skills including public speaking, leadership and mentoring.
Have you used the programme? We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does Be Strong Online work?
Each module provides all the resources needed for teachers to train a small group of students (who we call the ‘Tech Trainers’) to deliver short, 20-minute sessions to other students in the school.
How should I select my Tech Trainers?
We recommend choosing a group of around 6-8 students to be the Tech Trainers. Think about which students best suit the role. Are they confident enough to facilitate a session with a group of younger students? Could this training form part of an existing volunteering programme or Prefect duties?
How should I train the Tech Trainers?
The staff member leading the programme should run a 2-hour training session with the Tech Trainers. This session should examine Lesson Plan and encourage Tech Trainers to practice the different activities they’ll be running before presenting them to the rest of the group. This will help them develop the skills they need to stand in front of a group of younger students and successfully deliver a session.
How does the 20-minute session with younger students work?
The aim of the modules is to empower the Tech Trainers to deliver key messages on the different topics to a group of younger students. When they run their session, we suggest they deliver in pairs following the format outlined in the lesson plan:
- Discussion about the topic (and video if applicable)
- One 10 minute activity out of a choice of four
- Wrap-up, hand out follow-up activity sheet and Info sheets for students and parents
However, the resources are designed to be adaptable. You may wish to have the whole group of Tech Trainers work together to deliver all of the activities in a longer session, perhaps in a 'carousel' style around the room.
It’s really important that a staff member is present for the duration of the 20-minute sessions, for instance the form tutor. Make sure that they’re aware that they will need to be on hand in case of any behavioural issues that arise. You may also like to attend the sessions, particularly if you feel that some Tech Trainers require extra support.
How can I ensure Tech Trainers are confident enough to deliver these sessions?
The training session is an opportunity for Tech Trainers to practice running the activities in the lesson plan before delivering their 20-minute session. If you feel that they need more time to fully understand the topic before delivering to another group, you may wish to run another session to break down misconceptions about the topic and ensure the Tech Trainers have a solid grounding of understanding in the topic they'll be delivering.
Of course, Tech Trainers will improve and develop with support and opportunities to practice. It's important to give them pointers about what they did well and how they can do even better next time they deliver a session.
What age is recommended for this programme?
We have designed the programme to be flexible, but recommend that Tech Trainers from years 8 and above deliver the sessions to students in Years 7-8.
What do the 'activity grades' mean?
On some modules we have indicated the different difficulty levels on some of the activities to give you an idea about how much preparation may be required for Tech Trainers to run that activity successfully:
- Level 1: A straightforward, structured activity to use if you want the students to understand this issue quickly
- Level 2: Moderately challenging activity which may need some extra time to practice and research
- Level 3: If you have more time and feel the students are more advanced in this area, use this activity
How can I celebrate the achievements of my Tech Trainers?
There is a certificate template which you can use here. You can also contact The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign to let us know how your team get on - we'd love to hear from you!
Why does Be Strong Online use a peer-led approach?
This peer-to-peer format is based on the highly successful methods used by the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme, which provides anti-bullying training to schools and youth organisations. We have trained over 18,500 young people in the UK to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors: young people who are responsible for raising awareness of bullying, leading campaigns, and ensuring the safety of their peers both online and offline. We recognise that young people are the best agents for change in schools. We aim to give them the confidence and skills they need to tackle bullying, and adopt a whole school focus to change the whole school’s attitude towards bullying.
This peer-to-peer approach presents a great opportunity for Tech Trainers to develop their confidence and presentation skills. It’s also a great way to deliver key messages on online safety since students are likely to listen to other young people when it comes to the internet, particularly if the Trainers are a few years older than the students being trained. It also means that the overall burden on staff is reduced, meaning that more students can be reached.
What are the benefits of taking part in this programme?
By running this module, the Tech Trainers who you train will have increased their confidence and presentation skills – and they will have contributed in a tangible way to their community.
The students who they work with will have opened up a conversation about online safety and taken part in an interactive session which raises awareness of key things to bear in mind when living life online.
How much time is required from a staff member to run this programme?
To make this work really well, there is a bit of time and effort required from you. If you choose to deliver each of the 10 modules in the programme, this is the maximum amount of time which would be involved:
- Recruit your Tech Trainer team (one-off)
- 2 – 2.5 hours of training the Tech Trainers (monthly)
- Arranging the times for Tech Trainers to deliver 20 minute sessions in pairs – this can be during morning or afternoon form, lunch or break times (monthly)
- There will always be a member of staff present such as the form tutor or subject teacher. But you may wish to accompany Trainers on their first few sessions to make sure everything runs smoothly (monthly).
- Optional: following up with your team to get feedback (monthly)
Once this structure is in place, your Tech Trainer team will go from strength to strength and will be taking a proactive approach to online issues.
Does this programme link to the curriculum?
Certain modules in the programme feed into areas of computing, citizenship, and PSHE.
This programme builds on the subject content of the Computing curriculum which students will have learned in KS2.
Aim to ensure pupils ‘are responsible, competent, confident and creative users
of information and communication technology’
Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns
Understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to identify and report a range of concerns
‘Pupils should use and apply their knowledge and understanding whilst developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action’
Pupils should be taught about ‘the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities, including opportunities to participate in school-based activities’
Pupils should be able to ‘weigh up evidence, make persuasive arguments and substantiate their conclusions. They should experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society’