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Childhood in the Digital Age: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video

When it comes to technology are you an optimist or a pessimist? Are social media changing the way that children form relationships? How is technology changing the way that children think, and how will it shape the classroom of the future? The amount of technology available to children today is greater than in any previous generation, and it is more specifically designed to capture their imaginations. There is heated debate as to how the digital influx is shaping children’s development and experience. Nathalia Gjersoe, from the Open University, introduces some of the key themes, issues, and evidence in this important field.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: Introduction - Childhood in the Digital Age (#1/5)

How is technology changing childhood in the digital age? Are children’s lives today significantly different from our own or is technology simply solving old problems in new ways? The media has claimed that digital technology is making children lonelier, fatter, more aggressive and less capable of deep thought. But research suggests that it could offer opportunities for children to be happier, better educated and more connected to others. If you’re a parent, a teacher or are simply interested in this fast-moving debate, then get involved in the discussion as we explore the real impact of technology on children in the digital age.


© The Open University


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Introduction - Childhood in the Digital Age (#1/5)    How is technology changing childhood in the digital age? Are children’s lives today significantly different from our own or is technology simply solving old problems in new ways? The media has claimed that digital technology is making children lonelier, fatter, more aggressive and less capable of deep thought. But research suggests that it could offer opportunities for children to be happier, better educated and more connected to others. If you’re a parent, a teacher or are simply interested in this fast-moving debate, then get involved in the discussion as we explore the real impact of technology on children in the digital age. Play now Introduction - Childhood in the Digital Age (#1/5)
2 Technology - Childhood in the Digital Age (#2/5)    How is digital technology changing childhood - and how can adults keep up? Does screen time lead to increased distractibility, obesity and loneliness? Or does it offer opportunities for autonomy and experimentation beyond anything imagined when I was growing up? Childhood is a time of rapid change. Dr Play now Technology - Childhood in the Digital Age (#2/5)
3 Socialising - Childhood in the Digital Age (#3/5)    How is digital technology changing children’s relationships and shaping their online identities? Can play in virtual worlds offer the same experiences and what is the right balance between real and virtual play? Childhood, as we know, is a period of intense physical, social and mental development; it is a time when children experiment to make sense of the world. What role do digital technologies play in shaping early childhood experiences? Do they provide new opportunities for social awareness, such as establishing friendship groups and forming new identities, or do they, in fact, hinder children’s social development? Play now Socialising - Childhood in the Digital Age (#3/5)
4 Thinking - Childhood in the Digital Age (#4/5)    Does using digital technologies rewire children’s brains for better or for worse? Is this new text ‘slang’ damaging children’s literacy skills or is it the sign of a creative new genesis of language? There’s more to learning than simply inputting knowledge and experiences into the brain. Understanding the different ways in which we learn is the starting point for understanding development. How do the social and other experiences that digital technology offers influence our ability to learn or to retain new information, and do these experiences actually affect how we think, feel and develop? Play now Thinking - Childhood in the Digital Age (#4/5)
5 Learning - Childhood in the Digital Age (#5/5)    How will classroom teachers adapt to make room for digital technology in education? And how can parents support their children as technology advances beyond their own level of understanding? Childhood is a time of rapid change, not just physically, but also socially and cognitively, as children learn new skills, adapt existing ones and become more equipped to deal with the world around them. In this video Nathalia Gjersoe focuses on the future, and especially on the impact of changes to formal schooling and education in the next decade and beyond. Play now Learning - Childhood in the Digital Age (#5/5)
6 Childhood in the Digital Age (Combined)    Are you a technology optimist or a technology pessimist? The amount of technology available to children today is greater than in any previous generation, and it is more specifically designed to capture their imaginations. There is heated debate as to how the digital influx is shaping children’s development and experience. Play now Childhood in the Digital Age (Combined)