Building Digital Resilience

Building digital resilience.

In a world where technology weaves its way into every aspect of our lives, the concept of digital resilience has never been more crucial. Just as we build physical resilience to face life’s challenges, we need to do the same online too.

What is digital resilience?

Going online can be fun! But it can also make us feel upset, like we’re not good enough or left out. Digital resilience lets us understand when we’re at risk online and knowing what to do if something goes wrong. But it’s also about learning from your experiences (both good and bad!) and recovering from problems you face online.

Imagine you’re an explorer navigating the vast terrain of the online world. Well, digital resilience is your survival kit! It equips you with the skills and mindset you need to bounce back from online challenges, disturbing content and cyber threats.

Digital resilience is a key skill we all need. As educators, we need to help teach children how to stay positive and cope with uncertainties they might face.

Why is it important?

The digital world is constantly changing, and with this comes every evolving threats we need to navigate. This is why digital resilience is important!

Even with the best intentions, there may be times when a child experiences something negative online. But it’s not about being invulnerable to these situations. It’s about being able to cope with them.

It can be easy for children to become overwhelmed, so we want them to recognise the warning signs when going online isn’t making them happy. This way they can develop their own ways to manage this, or know when to find support if they need it.

Tips for schools.

Although it’s more likely for children to have negative online experiences at home, there’s still things we can teach children about at school to build up their digital resilience. Our first tip is to familiarise yourself with the DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Education, KCSIE for short. This is a framework which is designed for schools to better equip their staff and student with the tools to become digitally resilient. 

Build support networks.

Encourage children to seek support if they feel upset, worried or overwhelmed. Let your students know that they can come to you for advice or support if they’ve experienced something negative online. It’s OK to report cyberbullying or inappropriate content too. You can also share useful websites or organisations – we’d recommend Childnet, Internet Matters, UK Safer Internet Centre and NSPCC.

Practise cyber hygiene.

It’s important to use strong, unique password, update your software regularly and be cautious clicking on links or sharing your personal information.

Balance screen time.

Highlight the importance of children making time to still do the offline activities they enjoy and to socialise with people in person. Explain that it’s OK to take time away from the internet/electronic devices if it’s not making them feel happy anymore. Encourage children to stay active, eat healthily and put their devices away at night so they can get a good night’s sleep!

Be mindful.

We need to practise digital mindfulness! Try not to spend hours scrolling through social media, but instead be intentional about the content you consume. Recognise when it starts affecting your wellbeing or emotions, as it’s then time to take a step back and do something else.

How can we help?

The online world is just an extension of the real world, but there are so many more factors to consider! Building a digital resilience when using the internet is a vital skill for children to have, as it helps them become more resilient in general too.

By now your school should have robust web filtering and monitoring in place to stop students coming across anything unpleasant online, or searching for things they shouldn’t be! If you think you need a bit of help on this, then we’re your people!

Safeguarding and online safety is our biggest focus. Our school internet filtering and monitoring services from Netsweeper and Smoothwall protect your students against accessing harmful content while they’re on your network (even if they’re at home!). Plus it complies with the KCSIE guidelines, as well as Prevent Duty and Internet Watch.

We also offer proactive monitoring and school firewalls powered by Netsweeper and Senso to add another layer of safeguarding for your pupils. You can monitor online behaviour on your network, and receive alerts when a student becomes a high risk of harm.

So if you’re looking for a new school broadband provider or top notch online safeguarding for your students, then we can help! Just get in touch with us – we’ll talk to you about the best solutions that could work for your school.

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