ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Kids and the internet

By Miki Baumgarten
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 1, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/950566.950584

When planning and developing successful internet programs for children, it is vital to clearly understand and carefully consider kids' innate developmental capabilities and proclivities. It is necessary to keep in mind that children of different ages have vastly different physical, cognitive, and psycho-social characteristics, as well as disparate interests, likes, dislikes, and fears. A four-year old child may not posses the manual dexterity to operate a complex internet game; an eight-year old's growing ability to reason logically gives him the opportunity to take part in strategy-based activities and contests; twelve-year old preteens may be put off by a topic they believe to be "uncool." The following article provides a brief summary of the developmental stages of children and young teens -- from age two to age fourteen -- and the relationship of these stages to kids' use of electronic media. This summary is based on research in the areas of child development, psychology, education, and technology.

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