As the internet and new online technologies are becoming embedded in everyday life, pressing questions arise regarding their social implications and consequences.
Children, young people and their families tend to be in the vanguard of new media adoption, benefiting from early take-up of new opportunities afforded by the internet, mobile and broadband content, online games, peer-to-peer technologies, and so forth. However, they also encounter a range of risky or negative experiences for which they may be unprepared. These risks, the everyday contexts in which they occur, and the ways in which they are being addressed, are all subject to continual change.
To guide the development of a flexible policy framework and develop the academic agenda in this field, a rigorous, updated, context-sensitive research base is vital.
The EU Kids Online project examined research carried out in 21 member states into how people, especially children and young people, use new media. In this three-year collaboration, researchers across a diverse range of countries collaborated, through meetings, networking and dissemination activities, to identify, compare and evaluate the available evidence.
Key questions included:
What research exists, is ongoing or, crucially, is still needed?
What risks exist, for which technologies, and in relation to which (sub)populations?
How do social, cultural and regulatory influences affect the incidence and experience of, and the responses to, different risks?
Further, in accounting for current and ongoing research, and anticipating future research, what factors shape the research capability of European research institutions and networks?
The aim was to identify comparable research findings across member states on the basis of which recommendations for child safety, media literacy and awareness could be formulated. The project members invited communications from the wider community, practitioners and researchers in order to achieve this goal.
EU Kids Online I objectives and work packages
EU Kids Online I participants
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