Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Childhood in the digital age

2 Play in an online world

Playing online can mean playing video games, using apps or browsing the content of a child-directed website, such as PBS Kids for example. Professor Lydia Plowman has researched the way in which children learn through apps and games.

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.

Together with Professor Jackie Marsh and colleagues (Marsh et al., 2016), these researchers argue that we need a new classification for children’s digital play. They suggest that it is not the types of play but the nature of the play that changes with technologies. In their own words:

Contemporary play draws on both the digital and the non-digital properties of things and in doing so moves fluidly across boundaries of space and time in ways that were not possible in the pre-digital era.

(Marsh et al., 2016, p. 251)

Notable in this quote is the connection between digital and non-digital worlds, or virtual and physical play. The next section discusses the opportunities for play in virtual worlds.

OUFL_11

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 50 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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371