Young people and technology: fear and wellbeing

Recently, ABC Radio featured a session on the wellbeing on young people using technology.

We hear a lot about young people and technology but how much of what we know is based on actual research? In this program we speak to some of the leading researchers in the field. We examine the connection between young people, technology and wellbeing, and question whether some of our fears about kids and technology are actually valid.

Guests included:

             Dr danah boyd; Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture and Communication              at New York University.
Dr Amanda Third: Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Communication Arts Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. Research Program Co-Leader, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.
Associate Professor Jane Burns: CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.
Makhala Swinson: Member of the Young and Well CRC Youth Brains Trust and Lifeline phone counsellor, Youth Ambassador, Photographer.
Maxine: Participant in the ‘Living Lab’ experiment.
Chris Pycroft: Participant in the ‘Living Lab’ experiment and member of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre’s Youth Brains Trust.
             Nicole: Participant in the ‘Living Lab’ experiment.
Listen here. More information here.

The easy guide to socialising online

The Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has developed a fantastic resource for parents that offers in depth explanations about:

  • social networking
  • search engines and
  • online games
Games or platforms such as:
  • World of Warcraft
  • XBox Live
  • Nintendo DSi
  • Second Life

and more are covered. There are answers to the following questions:

  • who can access the site?
  • is my information safe?
  • what are the terms and conditions of each site?
  • how can I report cyberbullying or abuse?
A great resource that spells out the safety settings for a number of popular resources. Check it out here.

Keeping up with the kids

Keeping up with the kids: ACMA’s (Australian Communications and Media Authority) cybersafety program is explained in this brief slideshow:

Some excellent information regarding privacy, the role of peers, parents and educators. Well worth a look


Another website that uses real life scenarios to work through reactions and options to cybersafety issues is chatdanger.


Developed by the UK charity Childnet International, chatdanger covers:

  • mobiles
  • chat
  • email
  • messenger
  • games

With quizzes, facts and safety tips, it’s well worth the few minutes it takes to work through the different scenarios.

Smartphones and video games ‘help parents bond with children’

The Telegraph newspaper (United Kingdom) has reported on a study that finds that many parents and grandparents who play video games with their children and grandchildren say that their understanding of new technologies and time spent playing games has helped them cement their relationships with their offspring.

Parents can often learn from their children in these instances while modelling good digital citizenship for their children.

A parent’s guide to World of Warcraft for kids

World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with over 10 million players worldwide.

Joystiq, a renowned gaming blog (read their Wikipedia entry here) explains the ins and outs of the World of Warcraft game to parents of gamers including: