Digital Media's Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up
336 pp., 5 x 8 in, 1 b&w illus.
- Published: March 7, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
How children engage with technology at each stage of development, from toddler to twentysomething, and how they can best be supported.
What happens to the little ones, the tweens, and the teenagers, when technology—ubiquitous in the world they inhabit—becomes a critical part of their lives? This timely book Technology's Child brings much-needed clarity to what we know about technology's role in child development. Better yet, it provides guidance on how to use what we know to help children of all ages make the most of their digital experiences.
From toddlers who are exploring their immediate environment to twentysomethings who are exploring their place in society, technology inevitably and profoundly affects their development. Drawing on her expertise in developmental science and design research, Katie Davis describes what happens when child development and technology design interact, and how this interaction is complicated by children's individual characteristics and social and cultural contexts. Critically, she explains how a self-directed experience of technology—one initiated, sustained, and ended voluntarily—supports healthy child development, especially when it takes place within the context of community support.
Children's experiences with technology—their “screen time” and digital social relationships—have become an inescapable aspect of growing up. This book, for the first time, identifies the qualitative distinctions between different ages and stages of this engagement, and offers invaluable guidance for parents and teachers navigating the digital landscape, and for technology designers charting the way.
“Technology's Child is the book we've been waiting for -- deeply informative about how connected technology impacts children's sense of self, their relationships, and their learning. This thoughtful and deeply researched account will inform parents, educators, and (hopefully) designers, too.”
Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and survive) in Their Digital World
“Katie Davis offers a deeply insightful and accessible overview of technology's role in child development, from birth through late adolescence. Technology's Child covers key issues that are of primary concern to researchers, parents, and, indeed, young people themselves.”
Patti M. Valkenburg, Professor, University of Amsterdam
“This is a rare gem of a book. Refusing to succumb to either technology panic or boosterism, Davis offers advice that is balanced, sensible, and grounded in deep listening to both young people and grown-up experts.”
Mizuko Ito, Director, Connected Learning Lab, UC Irvine
“A valuable addition to the field. Davis pinpoints criteria for the types of positive interactions with technology that promote children's healthy development while never losing sight of the critical role of parents, caregivers, and educators.”
Steve Youngwood, CEO, Sesame Workshop