Project

The “Blurred Lives Project – a cross-national, co-participatory exploration of cyberbullying, young people and socio-economic disadvantage” will bring together five European partners (from Northern Ireland, London, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) with specific expertise and experience in tackling cyberbullying.

The four central SMART objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. To empower young people aged 14-16 to better understand, prevent and combat cyberbullying.
  2. To develop the most useful support materials for teachers, parents/carers and young people (aged 14-16) for signalling, preventing and combating cyberbullying, and to make recommendations to social networking providers.
  3. To determine how the young people understand, experience and respond to the present conditions of cyberbullying.
  4. To determine the relationship between socio-economic disadvantage and young people's understanding and experiences of cyberbullying and their responses/coping strategies.

As such the project is closely aligned with the Erasmus+ 2nd horizontal priority "Social Inclusion" which, in line with the Paris Declaration of March 2015, refers to the prioritisation of actions that "foster the development of social, civic, intercultural competences, media literacy and critical thinking, also combating discrimination, segregation, racism, bullying and violence". It is also closely aligned with the Erasmus+ 3rd horizontal priority "Open and innovative practices in a digital era" through its co-creation of valuable, age-appropriate resources for young people to support them in the face of cyberbullying in school settings, and the close synergy between research and innovative activities. In terms of field-specific priorities, the project aims to enhance teachers' professional development, tackle disadvantage and address underachievement through the prevention of cyberbullying and its associated psychological and educational impacts.

Through this project young people will be able to explore their understanding, experiences and responses to cyberbullying, but also to work together to take active responsibility to support their peers through their contribution to the development of appropriate lessons and supporting online resources.

The intellectual outputs from the project will be addressed at all the "key players" associated with cyberbullying: teachers, parents/carers, young people and social networking site providers. For teachers the project will provide innovative, interactive, highly visual lesson activities and guidance notes; for parents/carers the output will take the form of a highly visual guide to cyberbullying with suggested tasks and activities which parents could engage in with their children; for the young people themselves there will be relevant cyberbullying materials presented in accessible, engaging comic-book format; for social networking site providers there will be a summary document outlining recommendations arising from the project. The lessons and comic books will be co-constructed with the young people. Materials will be in English, Dutch, German and Italian to maximise the potential audiences. Cultural appropriateness will be addressed by means of piloting and revisions.