Free course

Childhood in the digital age

Free statement of participation on completion
Childhood in the digital age

Are you a technology optimist or a technology pessimist? Are you worried about how children and young people are using digital technology so much more during this pandemic, or do you think it can only be good for their learning?

The amount of technology available to many 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, and whether some children are missing out if their homes don’t have smartphones or access to the internet.

Is the massive increase in social media use as a result of lockdown changing the way that children form relationships? How is technology changing the way that children think, and how will it shape education as children begin to take up schooling again? This exciting new free course pulls together the latest evidence from experts in the field to explore these and other questions.

Join us as we delve into the lives of children and discuss the potential benefits and limitations of technology for them.


The course is intended for anyone with a general interest in childhood studies, early childhood, education studies and child psychology and does not require any prior experience of studying this subject.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the range of digital technologies used by children
  • list the main concerns that have been raised about harmful effects of digital technologies on children's development
  • discuss differences among types of digital technology
  • evaluate arguments for and against digital technologies being beneficial for children's development
  • suggest ways in which children can be helped to benefit from engaging with the digital world and to avoid the risks.

First Published: 13/10/2015

Updated: 04/02/2020

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Course content

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