Safer Internet Day takes place each year to raise awareness about the importance of creating a safer and better internet for all, especially for children and young people. This year it takes place on Tuesday 6 February.
The Centre for Children, youth and media at the Department of Media and Communication, UiO, wishes to highlight this year’s Safer Internet Day by presenting several products from the project Youth Skills (ySKILLS) (project site) about children and young people's digital skills.
The final conference, held in Leuven on 30 November 2023 focused on the theme ‘Are children adequately prepared for the digital world?’. For more information about the conference, visit ySKILLS Final Conference Interactive Report (Google Sites).
The project ran from 2020-2023, gathered 16 partners from 13 countries and was financed by EU’s Horizon 2020 program. From UiO, scientists from both the Department of Media and Communication and the Department of Psychology participated.
For an overview of the latest news and resources from the project, the ySKILLS newsletter can be read here (pdf.).
The aim of the project
Digitalisation is changing society. New media and communication platforms are increasingly integrated in children and young people’s every day lives in ways that can influence their health and wellbeing. In order to benefit from new technologies, new skills sets may be required.
The overarching aim of the project was to enhance and maximise the long-term positive impact of the ICT environment on multiple aspects of wellbeing for all children by stimulating resilience through the enhancement of digital skills.
By acquiring extensive knowledge and better measurement of digital skills, the project aimed to:
- develop and test an innovative, evidence-based model predicting the complex impacts of ICT use and digital skills on children’s cognitive, psychological, physical and social wellbeing.
- explain the ways in which at-risk children, in terms of mental health, ethnic or cultural origin, socio-economic status, and gender, could benefit from online opportunities despite their material, social and psychological risk factors.
- generate insightful evidence-based recommendations and strategies for key stakeholder groups to promote digital skills and wellbeing.
During the project period, resources were developed for different target groups:
An animation video regarding how children's rights apply in a digital world.
Source: ySKILLS Resources (ySKILLS)
To support young people and child support professionals in addressing the possible positive and negative impacts of digital technology on mental health, we have developed recommendations:
We have also developed recommendations for stakeholders involved in enhancing the wellbeing, education, and protection of young refugees in Europe:
Our interactive reports present important findings from scientific studies conducted within ySKILLS, including recommendations to authorities:
As a contribution to children and adolescents’ development of digital skills, digital tools have been developed. These are suitable for kids and adolescents between 12 and 17 years old.
We have also published an overview of findings from studies conducted within ySKILLS (Zenodo), and a policy brief that demonstrates how recommendations are developed for EU policymakers based on evidence from ySKILLS (Zenodo).