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THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATIONS ON THE DIGITAL GENERATION

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DigiGen (THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATIONS ON THE DIGITAL GENERATION)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-11-30

1.1 Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
Through ongoing processes of technological development and digitalisation, the lives of European children and youth are undergoing a digital transformation. The ability of young people to engage with and use ICT will be critical for their future, both for leisure and for work. The technological changes have generated both benefits and challenges for future generations. Europe is part of the fourth industrial revolution and people need skills and competencies (i.e. digital and media literacy, digital citizenship, innovation and creativity, learning skills and socio-emotional competencies and more specific labour-market skills) that will enable them to navigate and live with the ubiquitous technology permeating the fabric of their everyday lives. This means that education and training institutions will need to address the necessity for these competencies and skills in order to promote inclusivity in ICT participation and avoid the risk of widening the educational divide between children from advantaged and disadvantaged groups. At the same time, questions arise about the digital divide, which can include a divide between urban and rural areas, gender inequality, and unequal access, affordability and skills (next-generation digital divides). Thus, access to the Internet is essential, but access is meaningless without skills and empowerment.

DigiGen aims to develop significant knowledge about how children and young people use and are affected by technological transformations in their everyday lives.
This includes a focus on educational institutions, the home, leisure time and civic participation among children and young people in the short and in the long term. DigiGen aims to achieve this by explaining the conditions under which harmful versus beneficial effects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use by children and young people occur in order to develop effective social, educational, health and online safety policies, practices and market regulation. This will be achieved through the use of participatory methodologies that focus on understanding why and how some children and young people benefit from ICT use while others seem to be impacted negatively. It takes as its focus children and young people (from 0-18 years of age), a group growing up today that is described as the digital generation. Through sustained engagement with the digital generation as co-researchers, the project will include the use of innovative quantitative and qualitative methods and in-depth case studies. In the project, the cross-disciplinary team of researchers will enhance cooperation between home, schools and the wider community to ensure safe and productive ways of using ICTs.
"1.2 Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first year of the project has seen the development of the data collection tools, manuals for each work package, the nettskjema bilde application (originally the My View app) development, the submission of all the ethics deliverables, and the submission of deliverables in work package 1, 2, 4 and 8. Some delays have been experienced in work package 5 and 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for the most part, the project is on schedule.

In work package 1 DigiGen has delivered the first and second draft of the Data Management Plan (DPM), deliverable 1.2. The project has also submitted deliverable 1.1 an evaluation report from the kick-off meeting and first progress meeting (Tallinn online meeting).
In work package 2 deliverable 2.1 working paper entitled: ICT usage across Europe: A literature review and an overview of existing data has been delivered on time and an extra working paper has been produced with the following title: Children’s ICT use and its impact on family life. Both working papers are available as Open Access documents on the DigiGen website.
In work package 4 DigiGen has finalised the development of the app. and submitted deliverable 4.1 ""Deployment of the final My View application (now called nettskjem bilde app.).
In work package 8 we have submitted deliverable 8.2 which is the updated Communication, dissemination and exploitation plan (PEDR). This includes an overview of the communication and dissemination that have taken place in the first year of the project."
1.3 Progress beyond the state of the art, expected socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications

While the field of ICT studies is not new, much of the research has concentrated on the role of ICT in education, focusing on computer-based instruction, for example, or students’ digital competence and the role of digital technologies in transforming educational settings. Research has also been concerned with the role of digital technologies in the work and continuous professional development of teachers in addition to ICT policy in education. More recently, research has begun to look at the role of social media and more specifically at young social media users’ understanding of their personal data in addition to a focus on children’s online opportunities, risks and safety. DigiGen draws together, builds on and moves beyond existing empirical studies of ICT in relation to children and young people with the aim of developing solid and independent multidisciplinary and longitudinal knowledge that explains the conditions under which harmful versus beneficial effects occur.

At this point in the project, DigiGen has developed and refined a theoretical framework that potentially allows us to grasp the complexity of young lives across family, educational institutions, leisure time and civic participation and move beyond focusing solely on inequality in access, students’ academic achievement and beyond questions of risk and safety etc. DigiGen focuses on the ecosystem influences on the digital generation. Our theoretical framework focuses on the relationships, interactions with and between a child's/young person's family, education. leisure time and civic participation influence their development. The use of technology changes the environment of family, education, leisure time, and civic participation itself, and influences the relationships and interactions of the child within these ecosystems.

The project has made advancements in the methodology of studying digital transformations of young people’s lives. Strategies and tools for collecting mixed data that both involve and transcends traditional methods for data collection have been developed, including strategies and tools for qualitative data collection among young children and performing netnography on online forums among youth. In addition, the DigiGen team has developed and launched a digital tool for involving children and youth as co-researchers; the Nettskjema Bilde app. The app. allows us to conduct Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), which involves the repeated sampling of participants current behaviours and experiences in real-time, in subjects’ natural environments. EMA aims to minimize recall bias, maximize ecological validity, and allow the study of microprocesses that influence behaviour in real-world contexts. In DigiGen our EMA approach focuses on assessing particular events in participants' lives or assess participants at periodic intervals using the app. technology to include written diaries and mini-surveys.
DigiGen's theoritical framework