Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Childhood in the digital age

2.2 Play in an online world

Playing online appears to have many positive strengths, from learning new social skills to educational benefits. Professor Lydia Plowman has researched the way children learn through apps and games. In this BBC iWonder video [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  she explains what parents can do to unlock the learning benefits of technology for young children.

A key focus, Lydia Plowman suggests, is allowing children to explore through parental guidance. Part of this process is children ‘learning how to learn’ by making their own choices and decisions.

However, playing online not only provides creative opportunities or educational benefits for children, it also provides enormous possibilities for imaginative fun in virtual worlds, as the next step discusses.

What do you consider are the advantages of online play for young children? Should parents allow young children to play independently online?


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus