Resilience against radicalisation: tackling extremism in the classroom

We know that the internet can be a scary place, especially when it comes to the free circulation of extremist ideas. Social media platforms provide the perfect environment for these dangerous ideologies to spread like wildfire. We’ve all heard about the successful social media campaigns of groups like ISIS, convincing people to join their cause. But it’s not just them. Extremism also thrived online, thanks to the anonymity and accessibility that the internet provides.

Teaching kids about extremist recruitment techniques in the classroom

Online echo chambers

The problem is that it’s easy for people to get caught up in online echo chambers, where dangerous ideas are reinforced and legitimized. Echo chambers are like a cozy little bubble in which you only hear what you want to hear, surrounded by people who agree with you. It’s like being stuck in a never-ending loop of your own ideas, without any real challenge or diversity. It is in these online environments where radicalisation thrives. This is particularly worrying with regard to young people, who are vulnerable to radicalization the most.

Coping with online extremism

We believe that processes like extremist recruitment can be neutralised through our education systems. You might think that the classroom is a place to learn only about mathematics or English literature, but it is also the place where students grow from teenagers to adults and where they learn crucial basic life skills, like media literacy, disinformation and extremist recruitment. With an ever changing world, these life skills should include tools on how to navigate and develop within online environments. Most programs focus on either increasing knowledge or restricting teens from accessing certain parts of the internet. This second option has proven to be especially counterproductive. Radicalisation prevention should not be based on limiting the online freedom of young adults, instead we should embed the status quo of online living into our educational systems.

Preventing radicalisation with games

That’s why we’ve developed Radicalise, a serious game designed specifically for classrooms. We believe that the best way to prevent radicalization is through education. By equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the online world safely, we can reduce the impact of violent extremism and better prepare them for their future.

Radicalise is not just another knowledge-building program. Instead, it focuses on building conscious online resilience, by immersing students in a simulated online environment where they take on the role of online extremists. By experiencing firsthand the tactics used by these groups, they learn to recognize harmful and polarizing posts within their own online communities.

And the best part? Our game has been proven effective by research conducted by Cambridge University. So don’t just teach your kids about online safety. Let us help you prepare them for the online world they’ll actually be living in. Join us in the fight against extremism.