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    [MUSIC PLAYING][Researching Digital Literacy in Young PeopleUsing Interventions]

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS: I'm Elvira Perez Vallejos.I'm a senior research fellow at Horizonat Nottingham University. [Elvira Perez Vallejos, PhD,Senior Research Fellow, Horizon Digital Economy ResearchInstitute] And I'm interested in promoting digital literacyamong children and young people.[What were the aims and objectives of your research?]Children and young people, they are nowadays a little bit tired

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: of internet safety programs.So what we're trying to at Horizonis to create, to design new ways to work with young people.And obviously, the objective is to improvethe digital literacy, their awarenessof how internet works.But I guess what makes our project quite unique

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: is that we go back to the science prevention.And, for example, in the '80s, there was a lot of workon preventing young people to take drugs.So we look at good examples of what was working there.And what we found out that-- and this is somethingthat many people working in education

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: knows-- that you have to create an intervention thatis interesting for young people, and it's also fun.It's engaging.So what we've done is we went backto the traditional vignettes, which, basically,it is to work with young people to create a scenario thatis relevant for them.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: We introduce a dilemma.And these scenario is presented to young peoplethat suddenly they become a jury.And by witnessing what's happening within this scenario,young people are able to discuss,to decide what's wrong, what's right,how can we change the outcome.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And this process of deliberation is what we, psychologists, webelieve that is able to change attitudesand therefore, behavior.So, by collaborating and co-producingthese scenarios with young people, what we are hopingis that they are learning how internet works with examplesthat are meaningful for them and that is actually fun,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: because young people like role playing.Young people-- and I guess everybodylikes drama, participation.And this is exactly what we're doing at Horizon.We've set a series of youth jurieswith the intention to improve digital literacy among childrenand young people.[What is the process of developing scenarios

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: for iRights Youth Juries?]The process of developing scenariosis very crucial because it dependson how much co-production work you do with the young people.Those scenarios are going to be real and meaningful.And the way to set the scenario--there are different ways.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And, I guess, our research, what it is telling us,is that it doesn't really matter if you spend lots of moneyin a high-production project, where you'reasking young actors, professional actors,to dramatize the scenarios and thenhave those real drama within specific settings.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: It can be schools or just class.It doesn't really-- if you film those scenariosand you show by the clips, the efficacy is similar.So what we've learned is that youdon't have to actually spend too much money in developingthis type of intervention because, as I said,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: in situ role playing is as effective as hiring actors thatare going to dramatize the scenarios thathave been co-produced a priori with the young people.[What key methodological and practical challenges did youface and how did you overcome them?]So the most challenging aspect of working

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: in the traditional developing vignettes and scenariois that co-producing work with young people is time consuming.So I guess my recommendation, it wouldbe to bring-- or to make sure you have the resources-- notjust of personnel, but of time-- to producethat meaningful work.And working with young people, it

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: has, obviously, the advantages.If you are producing or creating a product thatis for young people, it makes sense to do it with them,so you ensure that they like it, they are going to use it,they understand exactly what is all that about.But you will need consent from parents if they are under 16.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: You will need consent from schools.You would have to liaise as a researcherwith different agencies.And this is extremely time consuming.And, again, the logistics of bringing young peopleto maybe your lab or you visiting them in their schoolsor in their class, again, that can be very time consuming.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And I guess that's my main recommendation,to ensure that your project has the resources in timeand economic resources to achieve thaton a very specific, probably, timeline, that, again, ithas to take into consideration exams, holidays, et cetera.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: [How do you recruit young people for your research?]All right, the way we recruit for our juries--until now, we've done 20.And we had more than 200 young people involved.The way we've managed to access these large groups

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: of young people is-- well, there are different routes,unfortunately.The most effective route is through existing contact,the same parents that are interested in the topic.And they were facilitating, again,access to established groups within schools.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: We contact personally many IT teachersin secondary and college level.We've advertised the program in the radio.We privatized the program through Nottingham Universityto the Widener participation strategies.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: We've tried to contact local groups, local community groups,that are probably helping us to make sure our sample is veryrepresentative and includes young peoplefrom affluent and non-affluent backgrounds,from different heritage, of culture, or differences.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And to do that, again, is time consuming.You have to face the-- have meetings face-to-face, getto know the people that are managing those local groups,and just build that trust, and build that relationships.And that's how we've found that it was the best way to recruit

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: young people into the study.[Why are iRights Youth Juries an innovative intervention?]Right, the iRights Youth Juries is an innovative pieceof research and innovative interventionfirst, because it works alongside existing

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: organizations that are actually quite successful among childrenand young people.For this case, we've liaised very closelywith the iRights Coalition.And so we've collaborated with this organizationthat is pushing digital rights at the front.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And they are trying to influence policy.And we're, at the same time, working with young people.And I guess this combination of working with the primary user,understanding which had the recommendations,and working with an organization that has connectionswith parliament, with policymakers,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: it's in that same research is what makes the project alsoquite viable and interesting that ithas different pathways to impact that are quite powerful.[What are the ethical challenges of conducting online researchwith children?]Working with children in internet-related issues

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: or projects is challenging for different reasons,many different reasons.If you're working with children one to one,obviously, you can identify the participant.However, when you conduct internet research,you have to assume that the user, or the participant,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: is whoever he is telling you to be.So you can have, unfortunately, web pagesthat are the same for children.And maybe the identity of the user,obviously, is not transparent.Therefore, you never know 100% who is your participants.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: You have to rely on information that is actually notvery viable.That can be one challenge.And then the second main challenge is consent.I personally believe that you haveto basically work towards having explicit concern

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: from your participant.However, how you do that is-- can be quite challengingbecause obviously you cannot-- many researchers are concernedthat if you ask too many times for consent,the participant is going to say no,therefore your data is not going to be rich enough.You need consent from the parents.They may hesitate for their children's data

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: to be used for research purposes.So you have to be extremely transparent.You have to promote trust.And I think when you're conducting researchwith children and young people online,that's even more important.And again, that's very time consuming.And you have to really be carefulwith the communication strategies you are using,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: both with gatekeepers, parents, and also with children.It's easier to-- maybe not to focus on the children.And I think this is wrong.You have to really liaise and be a trusting relationshipwith specific population.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And you have to make sure your information is accessible,it used the language that the childrenneed to really understand and make an informed decisionif they want to participate.They need to understand their rightto withdraw anytime without giving youmany-- or an explanation at all.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: So there are different aspects of doing researchwith children and young people that are maybe probablymore challenging than not doing it,or doing it with older-- or over 18.However, if we want to create products and add valueto the research, we do believe that youhave to co-produce your work with children and young people.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And again, that can be a challenge per sebecause it's going to be very time consuming.[What are the findings of your research and why do theymatter?]Today, we find out the-- iRights Youth Juries area very effective and cost-effective wayto change attitudes to specific aspects of the way internet

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: works.And we believe that changing attitudes is the first stepfor changing behavior.So we believe that by promoting knowledge, promotingdigital literacy about how the internet works,who can access your data, what cookies are,how algorithm recommender systems work,

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: young people have a deeper and a better understanding.Therefore, they are able to make decisions.They now-- or at least some of the young peoplethat have participated in the youth juries,they understand how the data is treated,how the data is being sold, how anything they post

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: can have repercussions when they startlooking for jobs, when they may want to have health insurance.And we assess the attitudinal change with questionnairesand with interviews.And that's the data we have that will be published soon.

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: And therefore, we can just conclude that the iRights YouthJuries is actually a very effective wayto change attitudes among childrenand young people about the way internet works.[Conclusion]So today I talked about iRights Youth Juriesand new methodology to change attitudes

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    ELVIRA PEREZ VALLEJOS [continued]: to the way internet works.And I described really briefly the methodologyand the results so far, show that theseare effective intervention to promotedigital literacy among children and young people.[MUSIC PLAYING]


Dr. Elvira Perez Vallejos describes the iRights Youth Juries, an intervention she developed to increase digital literacy and internet safety among children and teens. She explains the challenges of the project, as well as the benefits of collaborating with the target audience and other interested groups.

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Researching Digital Literacy in Young People Using Interventions

Dr. Elvira Perez Vallejos describes the iRights Youth Juries, an intervention she developed to increase digital literacy and internet safety among children and teens. She explains the challenges of the project, as well as the benefits of collaborating with the target audience and other interested groups.