Growing Up in New Zealand kids in co-design workshop

Group of kids

Growing Up in New Zealand is leading the way in working with its young participants to co-design new digital ways of collecting information which will then be analysed using machine learning. 

Growing Up in New Zealand is leading the way in working with its young participants to co-design new digital ways of collecting information which will then be analysed using machine learning. 

The new project, called Our Voices, is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) through a five-year Endeavour Fund grant.  

Our Voices will look at new and innovative ways of collecting information by working with study children to develop a digital interface, such as an app, that will appeal to adolescents and their experience of the digital world.  

The project will also develop novel machine learning techniques to analyse the wealth of information collected.  

Machine learning will enable large and complex sets of information to be analysed quickly so evidence can be provided more rapidly to inform wellbeing.  This cutting-edge technology will also allow for a broader range of information to be analysed, meaning responses such as video, drawings, or creative writing etc can also be incorporated into the longitudinal data resource.  

Growing Up in New Zealand principal investigator, Professor Susan Morton, says the study is breaking new ground in working with children directly to develop new technology and gather information. 

“Usually, it is the researchers who decide what sort of questions are asked in longitudinal studies like Growing Up in New Zealand, but we want to hear directly from the children so they can tell us what it is important to measure.  

“We want their help to determine what we should ask to get a better understanding of what wellbeing means to them and what might help them to build better futures for themselves and all of us in New Zealand,” she says. 

The first part of the project involves inviting a small group of children from the study’s Leading Light group (Te Roopu Piata) to work with researchers and technology experts in a “co-design” process to create a blueprint for a digital platform or app to help the study participants share their ideas and experiences of growing up in Aotearoa, New Zealand in a fun and innovative way.  

The co-design workshops are being held in early 2021 and as with all parts of the study, involvement in the ‘Our Voices’ component is optional.  

If you’d like to learn more about this part of the study you can contact us at contact@growingup.co.nz