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Education, Digital Life and Wellbeing

Education, Digital Life and Wellbeing

The internet plays an important part in our daily lives, and our research addresses the psychological, social and educational implications of the internet across the full lifespan, with a particular focus on children and young people.

We employ theoretically diverse approaches and an array of methods (including experiments, interviews and national surveys) to investigate the benefits and risks associated with the internet in everyday life.

Featured Research

With technology now such an integral part of our daily lives and increasingly so for adolescents, it’s crucial we understand what’s driving these shifts in wellbeing and whether technology is a consistent underlying factor across all nations.

Professor Andrew Przybylski
Professor of Human Behaviour and Technology

Programme on Adolescent Well-Being in the Digital Age

It is often claimed that the overall mental well-being of young people is undergoing a pronounced period of decline and some have implied that digital technologies might be driving this trend. This program of research aims to address both of these assumptions directly with empirical data drawn from more than two dozen countries over the past 30 years.

Of central interest are three research questions:

  1. Has there actually been a significant decrease in adolescent wellbeing in the last decade?
  2. Are shifts, both increases and decreases, consistent between technologically saturated and developing nations?
  3. How do these shifts in well-being (mis) align with technological events and the reduction of mental health stigma in different cultures?

To answer these questions we need to draw translate and harmonise many datasets, integrate data on technology and mental health on an annualised basis for each country, and perform both time series and structural equation modelling to test overall, comparative, and technology-related trends.

Publication spotlight

Academic Spotlight

Rebecca Eynon is Professor of Education, the Internet and Society, with her post held jointly by the OII and Oxford’s Department of Education.

Her research explores the relationships between education, the Internet and inequalities, and has been published in top journals including Information, Communication & Society, Learning, Media and Technology, and British Journal of Educational Technology. She has also published two books on education and technology with Routledge. She was co-editor of Learning, Media and Technology from 2011-2021. She is currently on the editorial board for Learning, Media and Technology and Information and Learning Sciences.

Her work has been supported by a range of funders including the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission and Google. Projects she has worked on have investigated the ways in which creative human/AI collaboration might contribute to human flourishing, asked about the causes of lapsed internet use among young people, and developed new survey measures of peoples’ digital skills.

Rebecca teaches on the MSc Social Science of the Internet at the OII and on the MSc Education (Digital and Social Change) at the Department of Education. At both departments, she supervises DPhil students interested in digital education and social justice.