Digital Youth Wales

Preparing, Inspiring and Supporting Young People in a Digital World

(Part 3) So what do young people really think?

If you ask any of the conference delegates what the highlights were for them at the WISE KIDS - WISP ' Young People in a Digital World 2010 (YPDW2010), you can bet the majority will respond "the young people". The event was heavily child-centred, with young people presenting, answering questions, performing and interviewing each other.

As chairman and MC Alan Davies said, "They are the experts."
And as such they were heard, questioned and questioned back.

A WISE KIDS youth panel made up of young students from local schools and project were literally centre-stage at both the Swansea and Bangor conferences: pupils from Maesteg Comprehensive, Ysgol Llangynwyd and Butetown Youth Project in South Wales and Ysgol Trfyan students in North Wales.

Youth presentations were followed by a Q&A session in English in Swansea and English and Welsh in Bangor where adults in the audience interviewed the children.

Start by watching the Swansea conference presentations:

Ysgol Llangynwyd:

Maesteg Comprehensive:

Butetown Youth Project:

Some key lessons learned:
For your convenience, I have also bullet-pointed some key topics in the links below.
  1. Gaming (Maesteg Comprehensive students)
  2. Internet (Ysgol Llangynwyd and Butetown Youth Project students)
  3. What young people want

Internet coming of age
Age of consent, driving age and age for legally buying alcohol are some of the comings-of-age in life I grew aware of myself, but I had no idea, until I attended the WISE KIDS-WISP conference, that there is also a minimum age of 13 for joining a social networking site. So, how much social networking do you allow an "underage" child to experiment with, and is it more or less risky than letting a 10-year-old, for example, have a sip of wine for the thrill of it?

Third year media student Lowrie, from Trinity University College Carmarthen interviewed three 13-year-old members of the panel, about their experience with social networking sites. This video makes interesting viewing for the striking contrast between the two girls of the same age but families with different attitudes towards the digital world. The one, who has been on Facebook since she turned 13, has had detailed tutoring on privacy setting management from her mother, who is a teacher, and uses the site to keep in touch with friends overseas, whereas the older siblings of the other did not trust her to be old enough to handle the internet world on her own. Watch the interviews below (in English):

Bangor youths tell it like it is

In Bangor, the WISE KIDS youth panel of 11 students from Ysgol Trfyan were older and remarkably outspoken. They delighted the audience with their honest, straightforward answers. At the end of the session, they were asked to give a one-word answer to the question "If you were to give up one thing, TV or Internet, which would it be?".

Watch the video (partly in English, partly in Welsh) for the answers and/or read the summary of points raised by the Bangor group:

Interviewed after the Q&A session, young people on the WISE KIDS Bangor youth panel expressed how pleased they were that adults were asking them for their opinions and actively reacting to their answers. Brownie points! (Video in English):

Parental guidance (from children to parents)
And since young people are the fairly knowledgeable when it comes to their online experiences, maybe parents can take counsel from those in the know and learn a thing or two?
In the following interview, Ysgol Trfyan students give parents a short video guidance on how they should be advising their children on internet safety (in Welsh).

Further links you may also enjoy

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