Online Tools

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for engaging young people in decision making.

Online you can find a wealth of tools for consulation, dialogue and taking action - as well as powerful tools for recording the impact of change.

Choosing the right tools for the job and the right strategies for online participation can be tricky. These pages on Participation Works are designed to introduce some of the tools and strategies available and to help you in choosing those that are right for the situation you are working in.

Multi media How to guideHow to use multimedia tools to engage children and young people in decision-making
This guide sets out to a wide range of media tools you could use in your work with children and young people. It also provides a range of multimedia toolkits with information and tips on using specifictools.
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Tools for participation    

These pages can, at most, give you a flavour or some of the tools that are available. Below are some ways in which you can use online tools for participation. Follow the links for more details on each.

You can use online video to stimulate discussion, gather views and campaign for change.
Blogging can inform, create conversations and provide a platform for young people's voices.
An Online Survey can be used to gather views as part of a consultation excercise, or to hear ongoing feedback from young people.

Interactive online mapping tools can support shared discussions about issues in the local area and can be a powerful way of presenting young people's experiences of living in a local community.

There are many more online tools for young peoples involvement, including interactive games, virtual worlds, discussion forums and message boards, social networking sites and mobile phone based tools.

Free, Buy or Build

The tools detailed on the pages above are readily available online and are mostly free or low cost. Using free online tools can be an effective way of exploring the possibilities for engaging young people in decision making online - and you can build whole projects around free and low cost tools.

Free online tools are quick and easy to set-up and start using - and often the groups you work with will already be familiar with them. However, free online tools will often include advertising on pages, and will only offer you limited control over the presentation of the pages/content you create with the tool (for example, including 'related content' by other users of the tool next to your content).

All the tools listed are also avaialable in bespoke and 'off-the-shelf' private label versions that allow you to build your own 'walled garden' online spaces. A bespoke or off-the-shelf product will often have fewer cutting edge features than large free online services, but you will gain more control over the look, feel and content of your own bespoke or off-the-shelf system.

You can think of using free online tools like having a stall at someone elses festival, where using a bespoke or off-the-shelf private tool is like setting up your own festival with just your stalls there.

Online Video

It is easier than ever to create a publish video on the internet.


If your computer can watch online video, then the three minute clip below from Common Craft provides an excellent overview of how blogs work and what they might be able to do for you.

7 Cs of Multimedia Participation

When you think about any opportunity for young people to be involved, you should first think carefully about:

Online Surveys

If you carry out a survey on paper then you have to first get the survey to your target group, then you have to collect it in again, then you probably have to enter all the information into a compu

Online Mapping

Community mapping participation techniques use pre-prepared and self-created maps of a local area to stimulate discussion and to identify good aspects and aspects in need of change in a local area.

More online tools

We can't possibly cover all the different onlines tools you could use to engage young people in decision making and influencing change.


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