The Internet of Toys: The digital lives of young children

Communication technology is a daily reality for many young children in the form of internet-connected toys and devices: the Internet of Toys. Although these offer real benefits for children, they also present hidden risks, notably relating to privacy. To better understand the challenges presented by toys and devices for children aged 0–8 years, the European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) programme initiated an Action to develop an interdisciplinary network for researchers to share information and knowledge: The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (DigiLitEY). Outcomes of this COST ACTION are presented at the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ).

Inadequate childcare policies affect scientists’ careers

The inadequacy of childcare policies across Europe, means that scientists who do not wish to be away from their lab for too long are struggling to balance their life as parents and as researchers. There are still some significant decisions concerning harmonisation of such childcare provision to be made in Europe, while further policy support would be welcome.

Fostering the adaptive creative thinker in every child

To succeed in today’s knowledge-based and creative society, children must learn to think creatively, plan systematically, analyse critically, work collaboratively, communicate clearly, design iteratively, and, above all, learn continuously. Unfortunately, most uses of technologies today do not support these 21st-century learning skills.