Dutch youth overestimate their digital skills: study

Most young people in the Netherlands overestimate their digital skills and have trouble judging fake news and finding information online, according to studies by Kennisnet and Mediawijzer.net, RTL Nieuws reports.

"Young people see new media as something they are familiar with", a spokesperson for the Week of Media Literacy - a campaign that kicked off on Thursday - said to the broadcaster. "They may be able to use it, but do not have the skills to assess information and to search. They are also less interested in what they hear about media literacy at school and prefer to learn creative things such as editing photos, films or programming."

According to the researchers, parents and teachers are less capable with new media and quickly assume a police role in which they warn young people about the dangers thereof - such as game and smartphone addiction and sexting. There is a big gap between young people and their parents and teachers. The information campaign is aimed at bringing the generations closer together trough debates and workshops, among other things. 

Digital skills are hardly taught in schools because this is not a compulsory subject, according to the researchers. As a result, young people mostly learn about digital skills in their social environment. Young people with lower levels of education are a risk group here, according to the researchers. 

For these studies the researchers asked 1,600 young people to fill in self-reports, a thousand young people completed a survey on media literacy and another thousand wrote a test on information literacy. 

Mediawijzer.net is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Kennisnet supports and advise schools about IT.