A report summarising the work of the Children and Digital World project has been published, with a set of insights and proposed actions.
The Children and the Digital World project was commissioned by the Chief Minister to examine the extent to which children's experiences during the COVID-19 period have changed their relationship with the digital world, and how policy and practice can ‘harness the good and limit the harm’ moving out of the pandemic.
The project focused on the area of digital citizenship to explore levels of confidence and competence in the skills required by children and young people to engage safely and positively online.
The work also looked for patterns in the skills demonstrated by children and young people and opportunities for development and support while reviewing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all of these elements.
Primary fieldwork to engage with children and young people, parents/carers, teachers, youth work practitioners and other stakeholders was delivered using a combination of consultation tools.
The following key insights are detailed in the report:
- children and young people do not distinguish easily between the digital and non-digital environment. The two environments are treated as the same, with fluidity between digital and non-digital experiences
- key skills and knowledge that underpin an understanding of how to be a responsible and mindful citizen in the non-digital world need to be translated into the digital world, and shared with children and young people
- developing the digital skills of parents/carers is crucial to enabling better support and guidance for children and young people
The report includes a set of actions that will be passed to the relevant Departments for delivery.
The findings from this project will also be shared with the aim of adding to the information available to develop an understanding of the impact of COVID-19.