Critically examining the fears that commonly surround young children's play involving digital technologies, this book seeks to address each of the negatives and present the positive possibilities of technology when it comes to early childhood. Using observations of children in play and cutting-edge research, this book will empower students and build their confidence so that they are able to challenge perceptions and think creatively about how they can use technology. Each chapter includes case studies, research spotlights, activities and annotated further reading to help students develop their critical thinking, deepen their research and connect theory with practice.

Managing Attention in Digital Environments

Managing Attention in Digital Environments


In this chapter, we explore the relationship between attention and digital play environments. There is much popular concern about potentially negative impacts on attention as a result of frequent digital engagement. This chapter:

  • presents research suggesting that there are particular ‘cognitive shifts’ as a result of increasing digital engagement in our lives, including more scattered attention. We consider whether these shifts, if they are the case, are necessarily ‘maladaptive’ or whether they might be occurring because they are best suited to the world we live in;
  • examines the argument that increased digital engagement among children is causally linked to the rise of diagnoses of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);
  • considers whether fast-paced environments are an inevitable part ...
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