The UK team (Professor Helen Lomax, Dr Jane Murray and Dr Michelle Pyer are working with 30 year five (aged 9-10) pupils from Preston Hedge’s Primary School. The children have:
• Shared their experiences of being online; the creative, learning and social opportunities that this space offers and how they manage this safely;
• Worked with Ruben Jans, from the Belgian team, in order to share their vision for an educational platform to help other children to develop their digital literacy;
• Interviewed teachers and parents about their ideas in order that parents and teachers’ views are included in the design of the online learning platform.

Dr Michelle Pyer, of the UK team, says:

‘We are very excited about the children’s design ideas. The pupils’ story-writing, drawing and design work have inspired us all to think creatively about how to create an online tool that will inspire other children to go online safely’

Autumn 2017 saw the second transnational partnership meeting hosted by VIA University partners in Horsens, Denmark. Partners from the UK, Greece, Belgium and Denmark came together to prepare for the first round of design workshops with children, parents and teachers. Three days of workshops and presentations saw the team experimenting with creative design approaches including modelling and arts-based methods. The visiting teams were also able to see how the methods had been piloted with Danish children and to work together to further develop the methods for hearing from teachers and parents, which will inform the design methodology and evaluation. The partners spent time discussing the design possibilities of the online learning tool and how to support children’s design input using digital technology. The team also enjoyed a presentation and hands on session on Children’s digital participation led by Lindsey Watson from the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield.

60 students from the VIA Faculty of Education and Social Studies (pedagogue education) in Horsens have been working with the CyGen team to develop the participatory design methodology in order to engage children in each of our four partner countries. The students interviewed children, teachers, pedagogues and educators, to identify a range of topics in relation to children’s digital literacy. Their suggestions about how to engage creatively with children will inspire the CyGen project in Denmark in order to create an online learning platform and materials and will be used (with relevant cultural adaptations) in the UK Denmark, Belgium and Greece.

The University of Northampton, coordinator of the CyberSafe Generation (CyGen) project, hosted the first Transnational Partnership Meeting in February 2017 in Northampton, UK. This kick-off meeting was attended by academics and educators from our four partner countries (United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium and Greece).

A two-day schedule of workshops and presentations enabled the team to develop the participatory design and evaluation methodology and plan the design cycles in each country.

Partners heard presentations from the University of Northampton’s Executive Dean of Research, Impact and Enterprise, and the Head of the Centre for Employability and Engagement, who  are funding a student intern to support the creation of the project website (anticipated launch date January 2018).