Workshop 1

March 12-13, 2019
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Inequalities and opportunities of digital technologies and media for children’s learning and education, civic engagement, social life and leisure


Professor Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield: Makerspaces in the early years: Opportunities (and challenges) for developing characteristics of effective learning (


Professor Kirsten Drotner, University of Southern Denmark: Children’s freedom of speech in the 21st century (

Workshop 2

November 4-5, 2019
University of Helsinki, Finland


The impact of digitalisation on children’s physical and mental wellbeing and health as well as safety, security and privacy

Full program


Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE): Parenting for a Digital Future: preparing for the unknown

Watch the keynote from here

Read more about the keynote from here 

Parents have to imagine several decades into the future, for their children will grow up in a world not yet known, to do jobs not yet invented. How do they think about this, and plan for this, in the present? For the “Parenting for a Digital Future” project I and my colleagues have conducted in-depth research with some 70 families. We find that, through their construction of parenting philosophies which vest effort and values in ordinary tasks, enacting an everyday calculus of what is worth doing and what is problematic, parents are finding ways to navigate the uncertain path between the present and the future. Our fieldwork also reveals a considerable diversity in parenting practices and imaginaries, rendering alternative lifestyles ‘ordinary’ while the supposedly typical proves relatively elusive, perhaps itself part of the imaginary of parenting. The project is framed within theories of late modernity and the risk society as a way of critically examining how, on the one hand, parents are increasingly burdened yet isolated, tasked with moral responsibility not only for their child but for the future of society as it rests upon today’s children, and, on the other hand, how the digital is positioned – by governments and commerce as well as by parents, teachers and children themselves – as a vital (though not sole) route to a better future.


Sonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, OBE is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published 20 books including “The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age.” She directs the projects “Children’s Data and Privacy Online,” “Global Kids Online(with UNICEF) and “Parenting for a Digital Future, and she is Deputy Director of the UKRI-funded “Nurture Network.” Since founding the 33 country EU Kids Online network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OECD and UNICEF. See


Professor Anu-Katriina Pesonen, University of Helsinki: Adolescent sleep and electronic media use – a critical appraisal of current evidence

Adolescence is characterized by marked changes in sleep rhythms, driven both by biological and environmental causes. In many cases, this results in very late bedtimes and insufficient sleep. Electronic media use is often listed as a major influencing factor in this process. However, the research in this area is controversial, and used research methods often lack objective measures of sleep. Very few experimental studies have been published. In this talk, I present the complex process of sleep regulation in adolescence, and give a critical overview of the research on the role of electronic media in adolescent sleep regulation.


Professor Pesonen leads Sleep & Mind Research Group in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. Sleep & Mind focuses on sleep, cognition, learning and mental health in a multidisciplinary context, combining methods and designs from psychology, medicine, and brain research. Specific interest is on sleep and development of children and adolescents. Currently, the main focus of the research is on sleep microstructures, experimental interventions to modify delayed circadian rhythms in adolescence, and studying the role of sleep in emotion regulation.


Dr. Pekka Mertala, University of Oulu, Finland: Traditional means for new literacies

It is widely accepted, that full citizenship in the ever-digitalizing society requires new kinds of competencies, skills, and knowledge. For example, the proliferation of the Internet of Things is blurring boundaries between digital and non-digital and raises novel issues around privacy, surveillance, and datafication. Thus, the big question is how can we educate our children to be and become agentic citizens in this complex world?

In my presentation, I will provide answers to this question by drawing examples from empirical research projects I have conducted with preschool aged children in Finland. The cases I present will address the themes of data literacy, game literacy, and digital literacy and they will showcase, that complex educational objectives can be addressed with rather simple means.


Pekka Mertala (PhD. MEd) is a former kindergarten teacher who currently works as post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland.  His research work focuses on young children’s and their professional educators’ relationships with media and technology. For further information, see:


Ms. Saara Salomaa, National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI): Promoting children’s media literacy and well-being in Finland

Various media are a part of children’s everyday life in contemporary societies. How to enhance the children’s participatory and educational rights and the freedom of speech in media environments, while taking into account their equally important right for protection? This presentation discusses the priciples, methods and policies promoting children’s media literacy in Finland.


Saara Salomaa is a senior adviser and media education team leader in National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI), and she is currently working also as KAVI’s deputy director. KAVI is a Finnish state authority with a legal obligation to promote media education, children’s media skills and safer media environment for children. Saara Salomaa’s work includes mainly expert consulting, policy development, networking and strategic planning, lecturing for professionals, research and producing educational resources. Saara is also conducting her PhD research in Tampere University. Her primary research interests include media education in early childhood education, children’s relations with media and media literacy policies.

Workshop 3

March 2-3, 2021
University of Oslo, Norway


Research methods and ethics to study childhood in the digital age


Keynote 1: Researching the datafied child

Dr. Giovanna Mascheroni, Department of Communication, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Date & Time: Tuesday 2nd March, 12.30 – 13.30 (GMT+1). Place: Zoom

Watch the keynote from here

The talk analyses the datafication of childhood from a mediatization perspective: namely, it foregrounds children and their everyday life and discusses how these are shaped by data-based artefacts and with what consequences. Drawing on a non-media-centric approach and epistemologies of the everyday, the talk then explores the challenges of researching the data practices of children and their families in non-deterministic ways. It will also address how these challenges are complicated and amplified in time of a pandemic.

Suggested readings:
Mascheroni, G. (2020). Datafied childhoods: Contextualising datafication in everyday life. Current Sociology, 68(6), 798–813.
Mascheroni, G. Holloway, D. (2019). The quantified child: discourses and practices of dataveillance in different life stages. In Erstad, O., Flewitt, R., Kümmerling-meibauer, B., Pereira, I. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood (pp. 354-365). London: Routledge.


Keynote 2: Ethics and Researching Young Children’s Digital Lives and Learning 

Dr. Rosie Flewitt, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Date & Time: Wednesday 3rd March, 13.00 – 14.00 (GMT+1). Place: Zoom

Watch the keynote from here

This talk revisits the assumptions made in humanist research ethics frameworks and posits how a new materialist stance might challenge and extend traditional ethics boundaries by embracing a situated, relational and dialogic approach. The aim is to open up debate about issues that have often been missing from research ethics, such as attuning to the many ways children express their understanding, questioning why language is considered more trustworthy than action or matter, and adopting flexible and reciprocal ethics when researching young lives that do not conform to heteronormative models of childhood. We will also revisit the ethics of using digital research technologies that denaturalize the researcher gaze and produce visual records of young children’s lives.

Suggested Readings:
Flewitt, R.S. (2020). ‘Ethics and researching young children’s digital literacy practices.’ In O. Erstad, R.S. Flewitt, B. Kümmerling-Meibauer and I. Pereira (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood. London: Routledge.
Flewitt, R.S. & Ang, L. (2020). Research Methods for Early Childhood Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic. (Chapter 2 ‘Ethics and Early Childhood Research’).
Schulte, C. (2020). Ethics and Research with Young Children: New perspectives (eds), London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic.