Is 2019 the year you’ll get to grips with Digital Youth Work?
Last year we talked about digital transformation and digital youth work quite a lot. Why? It’s well documented that organisations that don’t adopt digital practices and ways of working, will fall behind and that applies to youth work too. In this two-part blog series, we’ll look at Digital Youth Work and digital transformation and highlight things you can do this year to help increase your and your organisation’s digital skills.
In case you still need some convincing when it comes to digital youth work, did you know that:
- Three quarters of 12 – 15 year olds on social media (Ofcom 2017)?
- Over a third of fifteen year olds spend more than 6 hours a day online(EPI 2017)?
- Nearly one third of young people in the UK started using the internet when they were six years or younger (EPI 2017)?
- Within two decades, 90% of jobs will require some digital proficiency (Industrial Strategy) and Nesta predict that the future workforce will need a range of digital skills especially in creativity?
It’s vital that youth work organisations keep up to date with digital trends, help young people navigate their online lives and harness the opportunities that being online offers. If we don’t, youth work faces a very real risk of becoming dated and irrelevant. But this doesn’t mean you need to be a digital expert! And although there are risks of being online, there are also tonnes of fantastic opportunities.
Last year, we blogged about what digital youth work is, we held a Policy Seminar on Digital Youth Work & Cyber Resilience and launched, alongside European partners, the DigitalYouthWork.Eu website which is a good practice collection of digital youth work projects from across Europe. Our determination to keep promoting digital youth work hasn’t stopped and there’s plenty you can be doing in 2019!
So, what’s happening in 2019 that can help you get to grips with digital youth work?
- Join the Digital Youth Network which facilitates learning about new and innovative approaches in digital and developments within policy and has a dedicated Basecamp group for sharing best practice.
- Safer Internet Day is taking place on 5th February and we will be holding an event at our office in Edinburgh, keep an eye out for more information shortly. You can also hold your own event or browse what’s happening in your local area on the Safer Internet Day website.
- Have your say in the ‘Safe, Secure and Empowered’ survey we’ve put together. Your voice is needed to help inform guidance that is being created to support youth workers and CLD practitioners on safety online and cyber security.
- Cyber Scotland Week is taking place in April and we will be launching ‘Safe, Secure and Empowered: Cyber Resilience Guidance for CLD’ and running training events in Digital Youth Work. Keep an eye on our website for more information.
- Take a look at the DigitalYouthWork.EU website for inspiration and ideas on digital youth work. In early September, an International Digital Youth Work Summit which is part of this project will be taking place (keep an eye out later in the year for more information).
- Browse a range of online resources to help you get to grips with the online world including BBC Own It, social media checklists and simplified social media terms and conditions.
- Find out more about a range of programmes targeted at young people that can help them navigate their online lives and learn new skills, including the Cyber Discovery UK
- Read our series of blogs about digital youth work, What Is Digital Youth Work?, Digital Youth Work, where are you headed? and I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t really like the word ‘digital’.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, keep an eye out for the Digital Youth Work Award finalists which will be launched the week commencing 14th January.