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Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

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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?