Books, toys and tablets : playing and learning in the age of digital media

Nixon, Helen & Hateley, Erica (2013) Books, toys and tablets : playing and learning in the age of digital media. In Hall, K., Cremin, T., Comber, B., & Moll, L. (Eds.) International Handbook of Research on Children's Literacy, Learning, and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 28-41.

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During a recent study of how parents source information about children‘s early learning, one of us made our first serious foray into a local store licensed to the global chain Toys'R' Us. While walking the aisles, closely observing layout, signage and stock, several things became obvious. Firstly, large numbers of toys were labeled'educational'. Secondly, many toys in that category were intended for children under the age of two years. These were further differentiated as intended for 'babies' or 'infants', and sub-categorized on packaging or shelving using even smaller age increments (e.g. 0-3 months, 12-18 months, and so on). Thirdly, many products were labeled as 'interactive' and 'learning' toys that promised to assist children‘s early learning and development. The activation of some of these toys relied on embedded computer chip technology and promised to 'connect' children with the home television, computer and the Internet. These products were hybrids between a toy and a platform for digital media interaction. Closer inspection of toy packaging and other promotional material suggested that industry had begun to invest heavily in developing highly differentiated children‘s markets for products that yoked together concepts of learning and development, the 'fun toy' that incorporates digital technology, and offline- and online participation. In this chapter we explore the growth of this contemporary cultural phenomenon that now connects books, toys and mobile digital media with children‘s play and learning.

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ID Code: 50657
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: literacy and new media, learning and digital media , children and media culture
DOI: 10.1002/9781118323342.ch3
ISBN: 9780470975978
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Primary Education (excl. Maori) (130105)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Wiley-Blackwell
Deposited On: 29 May 2012 21:57
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 16:03

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