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A systematic review of physical-digital play technology and developmentally relevant child behaviour

Torres, PE; Ulrich, PIN; Cucuiat, V; Cukurova, M; De la Presa, MCF; Luckin, R; Carr, A; ... Lawson, S; + view all (2021) A systematic review of physical-digital play technology and developmentally relevant child behaviour. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction , 30 , Article 100323. 10.1016/j.ijcci.2021.100323. Green open access

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Abstract

New interactive physical-digital play technologies are shaping the way children play. These technologies refer to digital play technologies that engage children in analogue (non-digital) forms of behaviour, either alone or with others. Current interactive physical-digital play technologies include robots, digital agents, mixed or augmented reality devices, and smart-eye based gaming. Little is known, however, about the ways in which these technologies could promote or damage child development. This systematic review was aimed at understanding if and how these physical-digital play technologies promoted developmentally relevant behaviour (related to transferable skills and physical activity) in typically developing 0 to 12 year-olds. Psychology, Education, and Computer Science databases were searched producing 635 papers. A total of 31 papers met the inclusion criteria, of which 17 were of high enough quality to be included for synthesis. A theoretical framework was developed to guide our review and a thematic analysis was applied to find patterns across empirical studies. Results indicate that these new interactive play technologies could have a positive effect on children’s developmentally relevant behaviour. The review identified specific ways in which different behaviours were promoted by the play interactivity. Providing information about own performance promoted self-monitoring. Slowing interactivity, play interdependency, and jointly object accessibility promoted collaboration. Offering delimited choices promoted decision making. Problem solving and physical activity were promoted by requiring children to engage in them to keep playing. Four overarching principles underpinned the ways in which phygital play technologies afforded child behaviour. These included social expectations framing play situations, the directiveness of action regulations (i.e., inviting, guiding or forcing behaviours), the technical features of play technologies (digital play mechanics and physical characteristics), and the alignment between play goals, play technology and the play behaviours promoted.

Type: Article
Title: A systematic review of physical-digital play technology and developmentally relevant child behaviour
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2021.100323
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcci.2021.100323
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Systematic review, Digital play, Child development, Child behaviour, Child-computer interactions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128139
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