Young children’s digital literacy practices in the home

Past, present and future research directions

Authored by: Kristiina Kumpulainen , Julia Gillen

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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The changing nature of childhood in the digital age is currently attracting major attention among researchers, educators, health care professionals, parents and policy-makers (Livingstone et al. 2017). Public media is also increasingly occupied by various and, at times, less harmonious discourses about the opportunities and risks of the digitalized society for children’s healthy development, learning and wellbeing. Often, the focus is strongly or solely directed toward the potential harm of exposure to aggressive, sexual and commercial media content, while at the same time children’s rights to provision, protection and participation in the digital age are inadequately addressed (Livingstone 2016). The need to summarize existing research is therefore vital to consolidate knowledge of contemporary childhood and what the prevalence of digital technologies may entail for children’s everyday life, learning and wellbeing as well as for parenting and education. We also need a sufficient evidence base to guide policy and practice in the field.

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