ISSR will lead a research node documenting what life is like when born into the digital age

4 Dec 2019

In September, the Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced $34.9 million for the establishment of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child led by Queensland University of Technology. In total, the Centre has 33 national and international academic and industry partners, including The University of Queensland. Together these partners provide an additional $32.2 million in cash and in-kind support to the Centre.

ISSR researchers Professor Karen Thorpe, Associate Professor Simon Smith, and Dr Sally Staton will be chief investigators and will lead a node of the Centre at ISSR, UQ where a longitudinal study of 3000 families and the “Healthy child” theme will be based. 

The Centre’s vision is for Australian children to be healthy, educated and connected. This Centre will integrate child health, education, and digital and social connectedness, innovating across disciplines to meet Australia’s ongoing challenges of supporting young children growing up in a rapidly changing digital age.

The Centre will address key challenges of childhood in a digital age:

  • Building new understandings about the digital influences on the physical and psychological wellbeing and development of children to inform recommendations and guidelines (Healthy Child);
  • Developing models, frameworks and good practices of digital learning that build children’s educational opportunities, fostering inclusiveness and equitable outcomes (Educated Child);
  • Creating understandings of digital technology use and produce technology innovations for young children that (a) shape positive relationships with peers, family, community, and commercial entities, and (b) respect children’s privacy, rights, and citizenship (Connected Child).