UK’s first Digital Youth Council opens

A council to give young people a voice on technology issues is being formed to help shape the debate on how tech can support learning

The panel of students aged 13-17 will meet to share their experiences with technology and discuss how it can be used to enhance education – as well as engaging directly with the Department for Education to help shape policy. 

The Digital Youth Council is being formed by Virgin Media Business as part of its wider state-of-the-nation review, ‘Generation Tech’, led by Sir Richard Branson, asking teachers and pupils what impact technology is having in their schools and what the future holds.

Mario Di Mascio, executive sales director, Virgin Media Business, said: “We believe children have a direct role to play in shaping the technologies that will in turn shape their futures. The Digital Youth Council will act as a catalyst for that process – harnessing the huge enthusiasm and talent that exists in UK classrooms for all things tech-related.

“We’re looking forward to receiving the nominations and selecting some of the country’s most tech-savvy young people to take part. Who knows? We may find ourselves across the table from the next tech entrepreneur star. We can’t wait to hear their views on how digital can take UK education to the next level.”

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Upon launch of the campaign, Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said:“Technology is everywhere and it’s vital that children understand how to make it work for them. This is why we are introducing rigorous new curricula in maths and computing which will teach children skills like coding and programming along with the maths which underpins computer science. 

“Students need to be confident in both to understand the basis of the modern world and be able to contribute to the future. I look forward to seeing the results of the Big Question – who better to ask about what works in the classroom than children themselves.”

Schools can take part by requesting a submission pack from the ‘Generation Tech’ website and filling in the nomination form included in the submission pack.

Launched at the end of April, ‘Generation Tech’ is calling on 20,000 schools in the UK to submit examples, such as a video, a photo, a written example or a piece of coding. The state-of-the-nation review also includes a call on teachers to submit feedback on how they use technology to support pupils’ learning. The results of the review will be presented to the Department for Education later this year. As with nominations for the Digital Youth Council, interested schools can make a submission by requesting a submission pack from the ‘Generation Tech’ website. 

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