This is our world, online By Dr Michelle Blanchard, Emma Birrell and Young And Well CRC

world handsAdvances in technology, particularly surrounding the internet and internet usage, have been rampant over the past two decades. Young people are surrounded by this progress in everything they do; at school, at home and at work. In contrast, their parents are often lagging behind in this ever-evolving sphere, and do not properly understand the advantages and benefits technology has to offer.


The online resource ‘This is our world, online’ is inspired by the positive outcomes from the ‘Living Lab’ Research undertaken in partnership between the Young and Well CRC and Google, which was published in 2013. This study examined the concept of an intergenerational gap in the knowledge of technology. By reversing the traditional student-teacher roles during the study, with young people serving as the educators and adults as the students, both groups reported a greater knowledge and understanding of technological practices.


Learning to be a responsible, meaningful contributor to the online world has emerged as an essential life skill in this digital age, and young people need role models to show them how – parents must fill their own knowledge voids in relation to technology, and can do so by listening to young people. The online resource, ‘This is our world, online, positions young people as the experts and educators, with their knowledge and insight being published to educate parents.


This resource was developed by engaging the Young and Well CRC Youth Brains Trust (YBT). The YBT are an enthusiastic and committed group of young people from around Australia, who are passionate about improving their own wellbeing and that of their peers. Each year, the Young and Well CRC puts out a call to recruit a new intake of young people to join the YBT. These young people play a pivotal role in advising the Young and Well CRC Board and they sit in parallel with our Scientific Leadership Council and our Technologies and Innovations Collective. The Youth Brains Trust works in partnership with the Young and Well CRC community to determine what works best for young people, explore new and emerging technologies to promote wellbeing, communicate the outcomes of our research and shape the future direction of the organisation.


‘This is our world, online’ was authored by members of the YBT, with the wider network of current members and YBT alumni contributing to the development of the resource. All of this collaboration was done online using Podio, a web-based platform favoured by the Young and Well CRC team that enables team communication, business organisation, data management and storage. The Principals Australia Institute (PAI) led the distribution of this resource. PAI featured ‘This is our world, online’ in their newsletter that is circulated to over 6,000 schools across Australia.


‘This is our world, online’ is an innovative approach to educating parents, teachers, and carers about the technology use of the young people in their lives. This resource acknowledges the significant role that technology plays in the lives of young people, but most importantly positions this demographic as the most knowledgeable in the space, and allowing them to truly have their voice heard and educate the wider community.


This is our world, online


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