Katie Davis: Technology's Child
Is technology good or bad for children? How should parents think about technology in their children’s lives? Are there different answers depending on the age of the child and their stage of development? What can we apply from what we know about children’s play and activity in the analog world to the digital world? How should product designers think about designing technology to be good for kids? How does AI and generative AI affect the answers to these questions, if at all?
To answer some of these questions, we talked with Katie Davis about her recent book, Technology’s Child: Digital Media’s Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up. In her book, Katie shares her research on how children engage with technology at each stage of development, from toddler to twenty something, and how they can best be supported.
As parents of five kids, we’re interested in these questions both personally and professionally. We are particularly interested in Katie’s concept of “loose parts” and how we might apply this idea to digital product design, especially AI design. We think anyone who has children or has an interest in technology’s impact on children will find Katie’s book highly informative and a great read.
Katie Davis is Associate Professor at the University of Washington Information School, where she is a founding member and Co-Director of the UW Digital Youth Lab. She is the coauthor of The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, Imagination in a Digital World and Writers in the Secret Garden: Fanfiction, Youth, and New Forms of Mentoring.
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Thanks to Jonathan Coulton for our music