Z. Rubene, L. Daniela, D. Kalnina, N. Jansone-Ratinika

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This study was conducted in the framework of the Joint Research Centre’s Project ECIT, Empowering Citizens’ Rights in emerging ICT (Project n. 572). ECIT deals with “0-8 Young Children & Digital Technology”.

Research is a qualitative study that aims at exploring young children and their families` experiences with new technologies. In particular, we looked at their (online) technological engagement as well as the potential benefits and risks associated to their (online) interactions with new technologies. Its results will serve as a basis for policy recommendations in country and Europe level, and what should be looked at when launching larger EU studies on the benefits and challenges associated to young children`s use of new (online) technologies.

The main research question was what benefits or risks can be identified from the research, regarding young children’s use of digital technologies at home? Subquestions were: How do children under the age of 8 engage with new (online) technologies? How are new (online) technologies perceived by the different family members? What role do these new (online) technologies (smartphones, tablets, computers, video games, apps, etc.) play in the children’s and parents’ lives (separately and in relation to family life in general)? How do parents manage their younger children’s use of (online) technologies (at home and/or elsewhere)? Are their strategies more constructive or restrictive?

The families for the research were selected according to guidelines of the European Research Centre, there must be 6-7 years old children, and they should have at least a 10 month long educational experience. Most of the data collected for the children’s part came mostly from observations and from the interview generated by the support of the card game and activity book. The semi-conducted interviews of the parents, beyond the sets of questions, were as well supported by tools that here as well were freely used following the dynamic of the interview at the exception of the ice-breaking activity (activity book) and the card game that was used in all interviews. In Latvia 10 families were interviewed. Each of the families was visited by two researchers, one of them interviewed the child (children, if a family had several), focusing on the answers of the child who takes part in the study, and the other researcher interviewed a representative of the family who in most cases was the mother. All interviews took place in family homes.

The interviews were transcribed, coded by MAXQDA12. Data were analysed by using programs MAXQDA12, IBM SPSS Statistics 22 and Excel 2013. Children’s digital skills were evaluated, based on “DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe”.

As the result of research the family portraits were described including information about family members, overview of technology at home (what they possess, what they use, how they use; which is the access and ownership difference), description of technology use, perceptions and attitudes in individual and family contexts, parental mediation preferences. The prior activities of children were detected to see the priority of using technologies as free-time activity versus other traditional free-time activities. Recommendations to policy-makers, industries, parents and carers, schools, libraries and museums are developed.
Original languageEnglish
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
ISBN (Print)978-84-09-05948-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event11th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI) - Seville, Spain
Duration: 12 Nov 201814 Nov 2018
Conference number: 11

Publication series

NameICERI Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2340-1095


Conference11th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI)
Abbreviated titleICERI 2018
Internet address


  • young children
  • digital technologies
  • family
  • parenting strategies
  • recommendations

Field of Science*

  • 5.3 Educational sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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