Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australia and New Zealand Communication Association


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Holloway, D. (2014). Digital Play: The challenge of researching young children's Internet use. Proceedings of Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference. (pp. 14p.). Melbourne, Australia. ANZCA. Available here


Children’s Internet use is rapidly changing. Tweens' (9–12) usage patterns now resemble those of teenagers five to six years ago, and younger children’s (5–8) usage is approaching that of tweens. Primary school aged children are increasingly engaging in virtual worlds with social network functions (game sites such as Club Penguin, Minecraft or Webkinz). These digital public spaces carry with them opportunities as well as risk. With policy resources often targeting high school children, there is a need to map the benefits, risks and competencies associated with these trends, and develop recommendations for parents and policy makers. This paper analyses the ethical challenges posed in a new research project funded by the Australian Research Council titled Digital Play:Social network sites and the well-being of young children

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