Karla Zavala Barreda

Digital Childhoods: Learning Within New Media

How do digital media impact children’s experiences and learning? What is at stake when apps, robots, voice assistants and the so-called internet of toys are used by children? What role do big tech companies play in this critical period of life? With the help of experts in linguistics, communications, media studies, and cognitive science, this thought-provoking roundtable explores challenges and opportunities that digital technologies pose to bringing up children today.

From watching cartoons to studying the ABCs, children’s everyday life is surrounded by digital  media shaping and informing how they socialize, play, and learn. Digital technologies promise numerous benefits such as personalized learning and innovative interactions. Yet, technologies harbor potential challenges to children’s development and well-being. From risks associated with language development to the dangers of excessive ‘screen time’, parents and caregivers find themselves navigating many complex issues as they restrict, encourage, and partake in their children’s media use.

‘Digital Childhoods: Learning Within New Media’ is part of the project Early Language Development in the Digital Age (e-LADDA), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions grant agreement.

About the speakers

Tijana Milosevic is an Elite-S Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (MSCA COFUND programme), jointly appointed with Dublin City University’s Anti Bullying Centre and ADAPT Science Foundation Ireland, focusing on social media policies and digital media use among children and youth.

Jochen Peter is a professor in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the University of Amsterdam. In the past 20 years, his research has focused on how young people use emerging technologies and how this use affects their psychosocial development. More recently he has started to study how children interact with social robots.

Laura Diprossimo is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage researcher and PhD candidate at Lancaster University, UK. Her current research, within the e-LADDA network, concerns word learning from written contexts in early childhood, with a focus on the effects of book format, scaffolding features, and child characteristics.

Karla Zavala Barreda is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage researcher and ASCA PhD student in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her research project centers on the production, distribution, access and consumption of educational apps designed for young children, in collaboration with the interdisciplinary network e-LADDA.

Stefania Milan (moderator) is Professor of Critical Data Studies at University of Amsterdam, and one of the co-Principal Investigators of the Language Development in the Digital Age (e-LADDA) project. Her work explores the interplay between digital technology and data, participation and governance, with focus on infrastructure and agency.

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