🔮More Than Robots #45 / September 2021


"I think my name is sewn on somewhere / Perhaps the teacher will read it for me" - Roger McGough

It may be a new school year with new routines, new etiquette and a whole new normal - but much remains the same. Here are some new takes on old issues and old takes on new issues. Pick and mix as needed.

📖 Research

Poor digital access and lack of tech for UK teachers / Digital Poverty Alliance
47% of teachers lack tech facilities at home harming their ability to teach remotely

Pathways: How digital design puts children at risk / 5Rights / Revealing Reality
How the design of digital products and services shape the experiences and behaviours of children and young people.

Risk Factors of Cyberbullying Perpetration Among School-Aged Children Across 41 Countries / University of Alabama
'Models found that family activities were a protective factor buffering the risk of cyberbullying perpetration among school-aged children'

Internet Futures: Spotlight on the technologies which may shape the Internet of the future / Ofcom
'As Internet technology continues to evolve, a key future trend that emerges is the concept of the Metaverse. Understood as virtual shared space that converges with actual reality'

The role of digital technology in children and young people's mental health – a triple-edged sword? / Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
'The relationship between digital life and mental health is best characterised by a complex mix of positive and negative influences varying over time both within and between individuals – conditioned and moderated by personal characteristics and cultural, historical and socio-economic factors'

🗳 Take part

Digital Parenting Week 2021 / 11-15 October
Free activities and events for organisations to celebrate 'everything parents do to support their children's wellbeing, through challenge, change and confusion'

Get Online Week / 18-24 October
Community events and resources 'giving everyone the chance to find the help they need to improve their digital skills'

📎 Resources

I, Obscura
Examples of 'dark online design patterns', along with possible design and policy solutions to improve transparency, inclusion and rights.

Cripple Media
A platform for stories, news and views by and for disabled young people

National Databank
A central hub where community groups can access free ‘data voucher codes’ and SIM cards for people who need them. Along with digital skills training and signposting to other essential services where needed

An experimental Chrome extension that lets people 'customize how much toxicity they want to see in comments across the internet'

Lego Build and Talk
A 'shared story activity' to facilitate conversations about digital through Lego play

Childhood Local Data on Risks and Needs (CHLDRN)
Online tool to combine and explore the available data on the range of risks and disadvantages faced by children

💬 Inspiration and opinion

Down the rabbit-hole of cyberflashing
'Is cyberflashing using AirDrop to send a nude picture to a stranger in a public place? What about in conversation with a friend or romantic partner? What if someone posts an explicit picture on their Snapchat story and makes it public?'

It’s time to make the digital world playful by design!
'You can play hide and seek on Roblox and I do it regularly. I actually feel the same level of, oh my God, they’ve just run past me'

Ping It
'Staying off mic removes one method toxic gamers may use to identify someone as a woman, and lowers the possibility of horrible, gendered insults... I shouldn't have to hide my identity to communicate with my teammates without facing harassment'

Podcast: Are we punishing children online?
'When you talk to children and young people, what they say is that it looks to the adults in their lives like they’re addicted to the technology, but actually they’re addicted to the relationships that they nurture in those spaces'

Machines can read your brain. There’s little that can stop them
'People have never needed to assert the authority of the individual over the thoughts they carry, but neurotechnology is prompting policymakers to do just that' - see also How can we rethink user centered design by realtime user generated data?

...and finally
If the pandemic has made you think about re-locating somewhere a bit more apocalypse ready this may be just what you're looking for

This edition of More Than Robots was brought to you by 15 Storeys High

Subscribe to More Than Robots

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson