User research digital media habits and digital literacy among teenagers

User research into digital media habits and digital literacy among teenagers, WISE KIDS informing future policies and development strategies

Challenge
Often we hear stories about how teenagers are engaging with the online world through apps, social media platforms and online channels both in social and education environments. But what is the reality?

User research digital media

Work
Working for WISE KIDS along with partners the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Logicalis and S4C we provided expert research advice and carried out modules of user research working with children in schools across Wales. We also carried out a number of in-depth contextuals interviews with children in their home environment to build up a detailed picture of how teenagers use digital devices and engage with digital services. The second phase of research focused on a large-scale quantitative survey of more than 2,000 children across Wales.  Themes which emerged from the research included:

  • There is a disconnect between pupils’ digital habits at home and in the school environment.
  • The important role that social media platforms can play in managing social interactions.  Social messaging apps such as Kik and Snapchat are important communication channels, but parental knowledge of these messaging apps is limited.
  • Parents may think of Facebook as the main social network service, and may choose not to allow their children to access it. But they may not realise that their children are still engaging with the online world through the use of apps like Snapchat, Kik, BBM, Whatsapp, or communities such as Twitter, Instagram and online gaming.
  • Children are creative and confident in dealing with the negative aspects of the Internet, developing a range of active coping strategies.

Outcome
The research is being used to inform education providers, policy makers, digital media services and technology companies about the challenges and opportunities which digital media offers to teenagers both in and out of the school environment.

You can find out more about the user research into digital media habits and digital literacy among teenagers, here and also about the brilliant work WISE KIDS are doing around positive and safe Internet use here.



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