Co-creative Workshop

Working with young people to co-create educational resources on online safety.

By Mabel Truong

As part of the final stages of the ‘Emerging Online Safety Issues’ project, we invited young people aged 12-17 to be a part of a two-day co-creative workshop.  

On the 24th & 25th January 2023, we had 5 young people join us at the University of Sydney to be a part of the workshop. The goal of the workshop was to collaborate with young people to develop social media educational resources as part of our research in exploring how young people use social media, and their online safety experiences and practices. We also wanted to create a learning environment for the young people to build skills in creating digital content and hear more about the world of social media. Overall, it is important to us to highlight the voices of young people in the production of any resources we create.  

One of the highlights of the workshop was hearing from a campaign strategist from Amplify. Amplify is a creator-led entertainment agency that works across different social media platforms. A learning was the importance of authenticity and the shift in the value for authenticity when speaking to an audience. Young people also agreed that they were most likely to engage with a video or campaign when they appear more authentic and sincere. 

We also shared key findings from our nationwide survey distributed by our partner, Student Edge. These highlighted four key themes. One of the themes was around having a conversation about online safety. This involved thinking about useful ways for parents to talk to their children about online usage and what parents should be talking to their children about, as well as who these conversations should be happening with. Other key themes we explored included highlighting the skills and tools needed for online safety, data privacy as a real concern for young people and whether new safety laws and protections are needed.  

After discussing and looking through the data which encapsulated these key themes, the young people had the opportunity to brainstorm what they found most important about those themes. A young person highlighted the data that suggested 18% of young people didn’t care about their privacy was concerning and suggests the importance of educating young people as to why it matters. The young people brainstormed many creative ideas around how we could educate other young people about emerging online safety issues, including videos to spark interest in understanding data privacy and creating a “manual you never got” with tips and tricks for staying safe online that aren’t often spoken about. 

When it came to the second day of the workshop, as a group we defined the parameters of our campaign and the young people had the opportunity to put some of their ideas into action. The young people also had the opportunity to learn some basic photography and videography skills. They got to practice these skills as well as learn to storyboard and write video scripts. This all supported them to create the type of content in the format that they wanted.  

We continue to be in touch with the young people involved in the workshops and established the YOS (Youth Online Safety) Advisory Committee which invites the young people to provide us with feedback and suggestions on any of the editing and scripting that we do beyond the workshops. These videos will come out later this year. Follow us on our social media accounts @youthonlinesafety on Instagram and TikTok to find out more about these videos.