The purpose of this project is to examine the ways in which classical and modern theories of play may be applied to an analysis of the developmental value of computer software in the early childhood years. Modern and classical theories of play have identified many ways in which play may advance the cognitive, social and emotional development of children. However, in the last two decades there has been concern that play is being replaced by other activities such as computer games, ranging from commercial arcade games to different kinds of educational software. Whilst there has been an ongoing debate about the advantages and disadvantages of children’s computer use, increased computer access for children in today’s homes and childcare centres has become a reality. In view of this situation it is important that early childhood educators are able to judge the quality of computer games. When assessing the quality of particular items of computer software for young children, researchers refer to its developmental appropriateness. Within this frame of reference, software designers aim to present educational content in a playful way to make it more attractive and accessible to its young audience. However, there is a relative lack of focus on the value of computer use as play per se. If computer games are to become a significant part of children’s lives we need to look at their developmental value from the same perspective that is taken when considering the significance of play in child development.
- young children,
- digital play
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/irina_verenikina/36/