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Bringing Social Media Into the Curriculum: New Ways of Teaching and Learning?

April 11, 2017

Laura Pountney reflects on new ways of teaching and learning, where social media platforms have become part of A level sociology and anthropology curricula. Laura is a teacher of anthropology and sociology at Colchester Sixth Form College, senior examiner for A level anthropology, and author of several textbooks. She has been involved with curriculum development, teacher training and projects such as the UCL Why We Post research. Image credit: F. Osorio, CC BY 2.0 Many parents are interested in how Read More...

Digital Skills Matter in the Quest for the ‘Holy Grail’

April 7, 2017

As part of the European Commission Study on the impact of marketing through social media, online games and mobile applications on children’s behaviour, Sonia Livingstone and her colleagues published an analysis of a survey of 6,400 European parents to see whether they are finding the ‘holy grail’ of managing their children’s internet use. Today is Safer Internet Day, and Sonia takes a closer look at how European parents try to optimise their children’s online opportunities while also minimisi Read More...

The Controversial Named Persons Provision in Scotland

April 4, 2017

Wendy M. Grossman discusses the problems surrounding the Named Persons provision in Scotland and the state’s role in children’s lives. She argues that the controversy surrounding this policy is exceptionally hard for parents to navigate. Wendy writes about the border wars between cyberspace and real life. She is the 2013 winner of the Enigma Award and she has released a number of books, articles, and music.  Image credit: B. Flickinger, CC BY 2.0 Sonia Livingstone has previously written a Read More...

The Internet of Toys

March 31, 2017

With the rapid expansion in ‘smart’, interconnected toys, what is being done to regulate, for example, the data they generate? Giovanna Mascheroni looks into some of the hopes and concerns surrounding the internet of toys. Giovanna is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Università Cattolica, Milan and visiting fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE. She part of the EU Kids Online research team and of the COST Action DigiLitEY. Image credit: L. Proppe, CC BY-NC 2.0 Read More...

Micro-Microcelebrity: Famous Babies and Business on the Internet

March 28, 2017

Crystal Abidin explores lifestyle Influencers and babies as the new ‘micro-microcelebrity’. Crystal is an anthropologist and ethnographer who studies vernacular internet culture. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at the National University of Singapore, Affiliated Researcher at Media Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) at Jönköping University, and co-investigator with the Science, Technology and Society (STS) cluster at the Asia Research Institute (ARI). Image credit: C. Rahan Read More...

When Is a Toothbrush Not Just a Toothbrush?

March 24, 2017

Joanna Adler looks into the fast-changing world of technology, connectivity and digital resilience. She writes this post in a personal capacity and tells us about a bluetooth enabled toothbrush for children, which raised a lot of questions about security vulnerabilities, protecting our privacy and data. Joanna is Professor of Forensic Psychology and Director of Forensic Psychological Services at Middlesex University. Her research is interested in violence, hate and safety and in young people’s experien Read More...

ClassDojo Poses Data Protection Concerns for Parents

March 21, 2017

Ben Williamson and Alasdair Rutherford raise a series of concerns about the globally popular classroom management app ClassDojo. They argue that as ClassDojo has grown into a new social media site for schools, it poses a number of risks in relation to data protection and child privacy, and to how children, teachers and parents interact. Ben and Alasdair are both based in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling, UK. Ben is a Lecturer in Education, and led the ESRC funded project Code Act Read More...

What Are the Effects of Touchscreens on Toddler Development?

March 17, 2017

Should you let your toddler use an iPad? Do we know how touchscreen devices affect infants and toddlers? Celeste Cheung is a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck University of London and works on the TABLET project, which investigate how 6- to 36-month olds use touchscreen devices, and how these may impact their brain, cognitive and social development. Celeste discusses how preliminary study findings indicate that time spent on a device, as well as the content and context of screen use matter.  In Aug Read More...

The Peculiar Joylessness of Neuroparenting

March 14, 2017

Jan Macvarish interrogates the ‘new’ science of neuroparenting, and the idea that parents are the ‘architects’ of their babies’ brains and therefore of their future happiness and life chances. She argues that this assumption has a persistent cultural and political power, and explores the role of expert advice and parental instincts. Jan is a researcher and lecturer with the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent. Her research interests are located in sociology, and social Read More...

Follow the Money

March 10, 2017

Martin Schmalzried, a Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at the Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE), explores the power and control of private companies over internet access and usage. His piece follows a special workshop¹ convened by the Media Policy Project and Parenting for a Digital Future on ‘Families and “screen-time”: challenges of media self-regulation’ and the publication of a policy brief about families and “screen time”, authored by Alicia B Read More...


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