ACT ON! active + self-determined online (EN)

ACT ON! is a media educational research and practice project that focuses on the current online activities of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14. In the center of the project stands the perspective of the adolescents on "their" online worlds. The project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and is part of the initiative Gutes Aufwachsen mit Medien (growing up well with media).




JFF – Institute for Media Research and Media Education

Target group

Adolescents from the age of 10 to 14 years and youth workers


The aim of the ACT ON! project is to make the perspective of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 on their media-related protection needs visible and to uncover potential risks in their media dealings in the online sector. In addition, methodological proposals for educational practice will be developed to stimulate and support the discussion of online risks among adolescents. The results will be made available to interested parties in the project blog and introduced into the discourse on the further development of youth media protection and intelligent risk management for the protection of adolescents on the Internet.


The ACT ON! project was launched in 2015 and is currently in its third phase. Right from the start, the project consisted of a practical module and a research module. The practice module has changed over the years. At the beginning, nationwide children’s and youth conferences took place in Germany, where adolescents discussed their views on attractions, challenges and pitfalls in the online world. They discussed profitable ways of dealing with online media, exchanged views on sensible strategies for dealing with risks, formulated protection needs and clarified their ideas regarding effective support. These aspects were retained in terms of content. Since 2017, however, there have been no more conferences, but the listed topics are discussed in nationwide fixed children’s and youth groups. The structure of the research module has not changed, but each year a different thematic research focus is chosen which looks at a current phenomenon from the world of children and young people.


ACT ON! is represented at various locations in Germany in order to discuss and reflect on the perspectives of children and youth groups on their online activities and to give innovative media educational impulses.

The perspective of children and young people between the ages of 10 and 14 is presented in a modular way and made available to the public. At the same time, current topics and questions of this target group will be discussed with pedagogical experts in order to test pedagogical options for action.

Research and practice modules are in close exchange. The continuous children’s and youth groups provide information on relevant online offerings. The results of the monitoring in turn form a starting point for the work of the children’s and youth groups.


In the course of the project, methods for continuous work with children and young people on current media developments are being developed, tested and published as modular materials. The materials are freely accessible on the ACT ON! project blog.

In the summer of 2017, twenty-four exemplary YouTube channels that are popular in the 10 to 14-year-old age group were also analysed. The project blog contains dossiers on selected YouTube channels.


The feedback is predominantly positive. Above all, the youth workers are grateful for the analysis of relevant offers for children and young people, the methodical approaches and the visualisation of the perspective of the adolescents. The children and young people, on the other hand, value the fact that they are asked and not just talked about. They can contribute their expert knowledge and at the same time openly discuss where they need support.

Monitoring Study

The monitoring study investigates the perspective of ten- to 14-year-olds on current media phenomena and their related needs for protection, information and support. The study investigates the following questions:

  • Which online services are currently highly rated by 10- to 14-year-olds?
  • How do they use the online services?
  • How do they rate online offerings in terms of risks?
  • What strategies have they developed to deal with online risks?
  • What support do they want with regard to online risks?

The monitoring study uses qualitative survey methods in small groups. Approximately 80 to 100 adolescents are surveyed each year. The survey of adolescents is preceded by an analysis of particularly relevant online offerings. The results are being published in the form of short reports on the project blog. Reports have been published on YouTube stars, trust and mistrust in the handling of personal data in various online services, among others.


Young people are taken seriously in their perspective on media and can share it with others. They learn to deal with media in a creative and self-determined way. By publishing their results on the project blog, professionals gain an insight into the media-influenced world of young people and learn how they can address these issues themselves in their educational work.

Additional information