Dr. Wahida Chowdhury is a cognitive scientist with a background in cognitive science and psychology. Since September 2017, she is a postdoctoral fellow in our department, working with Dr. Valerie Steeves. The title of their research, funded by The eQuality Project, a SSHRC-funded partnership, is “Canadian Kids Online: Using Surveys to Map Children’s Experiences on the Internet”. The project contributes to a global comparative analysis of children’s’ online experiences. As more and more children are using the Internet not only nationally but also to engage internationally, comparative research is needed to develop evidence-based policies and international standards that make the Internet a safer and positive place for children. The team developed an online survey to explore Canadian children’s access to the Internet, online opportunities and risks, knowledge of and concerns with online privacy, online skills (including digital literacy and privacy-protective strategies), and social support when dealing with online challenges.
The first part of the project adopted questions from the Global Kids Online survey, which is developed collaboratively by UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the EU Kids Online network as part of the Global Kids Online Project (GKO). The objective of the first part is to advance our understanding of how networked environments amplify risks and opportunities to children. The second part of the project is developed by the team based on previous research investigating concerns about online privacy, including some questions used by MediaSmart’s Young Canadians in the Wired World research project. The objective of this part is to investigate how sensitivities to privacy relate to online risks and harms by correlating the answers to the privacy questionnaire with other questions of the survey.