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Multinational project aims for the first time to provide evidence on how smartphone usage affects kids

The interdisciplinary project will introduce new evidence-based tools that will determine the long-term effects of using mobile devices on child behaviour and will offer concrete solutions for safer and more beneficial use of digital technologies.

Digital Economy
Society

AARHUS, Denmark, February 20, 2020 – The European Union (EU) has awarded €3.45 million to the international DIGYMATEX consortium to provide evidence-based tools to assist in understanding and determining children’s digital maturity. The four-and-a-half-year project aims to provide clear evidence on how the digital maturity of children aged 9–16 impacts their behaviour, when they are using information and communication technologies (ICT) and what long-term effects the use of these technologies has on children’s well-being. “Digital technology has great impact on the entire society, but so far there hasn’t been a real attempt to set clear indicators to measure the usage of mobile devices and information technology by children in order to understand which activities are beneficial or harmful,” says Associate Professor Marco Hubert from the Department of Management at Aarhus University, Denmark, who is the coordinator of DIGYMATEX. Hubert adds that DIGYMATEX will offer concrete solutions that will contribute to a safer and more beneficial use of digital technologies by children to formulate recommendations in support of national and European policies in this field. DIGYMATEX aims to develop innovative tools to benefit various stakeholders, including children, parents, school administrators and teachers, scientists, the business sector and policy makers. Among others, DIGYMATEX plans to develop the Digital Youth Maturity Index (DYMI), an innovative tool that will establish and implement a comprehensive understanding and taxonomy of children’s digital maturity. DIGYMATEX will also develop a technology-related solution and recommendation program for parents, schools and policy based on three levels – individual, social and national. DIGYMATEX has received funding through the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 870578. It is comprised of 12 partner organisations from leading universities, research institutions and technology companies in 10 countries, including Denmark (Aarhus University, IBM Denmark), Germany (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Universitatsklinikum Bonn), Austria (Universitat Wien), Spain (Instituto De Empresa), Norway (Nofima), Greece (Athens University of Economics and Business), the Netherlands (Universiteit Van Amsterdam), Ireland (Trinity College Dublin), Israel (Agora Partners) and France (Vitagora Pole). The DIGYMATEX Project will hold its opening conference in Aarhus, Denmark on March 2–3, 2020.

Keywords

kids, digital maturity, smartphone, addiction