Safety issues in young children’s digital literacy practices at home

Authored by: Stéphane Chaudron , Rosanna Di Gioia , Monica Gemo

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138303881
eBook ISBN: 9780203730638
Adobe ISBN:


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One only needs to witness a few interactions within modern western families to realize how much the experience of childhood has changed. The use of digital technologies often stands out, in terms of its multiple and diverse impacts on childhood and education, raising safety and security concerns. There have been noticeable increases in the internet participation rate of children and young people in all EU and western countries. Very young children aged below 8 years have shown particularly increased patterns of internet use (Ofcom 2017). Although a great deal is known about the digital engagement of teenagers in Europe, thanks to numerous studies and research networks such as EU Kids Online, there is a lack of knowledge about the status and development of young children’s digital skills (Livingstone et al. 2011; Ólafsson, Livingstone and Haddon 2014). Recent investigations on children aged between 0 and 8 and their use of new technologies drew out some tentative findings (Plowman et al. 2012; Holloway, Green and Livingstone 2013; Plowman and McPake 2013; Marsh et al. 2015). We now know a little more about how children engage, learn and play with diverse online activities using a range of internet-connected devices; but safety and security strategies have only been preliminarily explored for young children.

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