'It's All About The Apps': Parental Mediation Of Pre-schoolers' Digital Lives
The University of Queensland
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
A young mother with a two-year-old and a four-year-old is asked about her experience of parenting. 'I can't believe how much is different,' she says, 'between the first child and the second. It's all about the apps.' Elsewhere in the room, the two pre-schoolers are absorbed in collaborative play with an iPad. Across the continent, a distant relative prepares for a pre-arranged Skype session with her young niece and nephew. She wonders whether the youngest, who has never video-conferenced before, will recognise and talk to her. These children are growing up with a game changer. What had been hailed as 'the Semantic Web' is turning out to be something creatively different. This article uses a series of vignettes to examine the power of the app, from Playschool Playtime to Skype, to highlight, analyse and discuss young children's (aged from birth to five) digital interventions facilitated by a download and touchscreen technologies.