Experts discuss the role of ‘digital’ in play

‘The Social Worlds of Children’s Digital Play’ seminar was held at ACMI in Melbourne on June 1st, presenting four different perspectives of digital play.

The seminar, part of a series of public-facing seminars co-hosted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), discussed ‘what is digital play?’ and ‘what constitutes good digital play?’.

Four presenters answered these questions from varying angles – within the home, at school, in informal learning settings, and within industry.

“It was a thought-provoking seminar,” says event convener Professor Louise Paatsch from Deakin University. “It brought together the different perspectives from teachers, children’s program developers, researchers, and designers of digital displays and exhibitions within community settings regarding the role of the digital in children’s play.”

The seminar presenters included Jacqui Jarvis (Foundation Teacher and Playgroup Leader at St James’ Primary School), Dr Britt Romstad (ACMI’s Executive Director of Experience and Engagement), Dr Fiona Scott (Lecturer and Director of the Literacies and Language Research Cluster at the University of Sheffield), and Laura Stone (Early Childhood Education Producer at ABC).

“This seminar provided important insights into the affordances and challenges of digital play,” says Professor Paatsch. “It discussed the importance of moving beyond the technological determinist views of digital technologies being good or bad for children to broadening our understandings of the value and use of digital technologies in children’s diverse social worlds and how these can be embedded into practice.”

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