International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 121–134 | Cite as

Use of Mobile Devices: A Case Study with Children from Kuwait and the United States

Original Article

Abstract

This study explored children’s usage and understandings about mobile devices. The study included 112 children aged 3–5 years, of whom 53 children lived in Kuwait and 59 children lived in the United States. The children were interviewed about their access to and usage of mobile devices, about how they learned to use mobile devices, and the actions and activities in which they engaged with the devices. The findings demonstrated that both Kuwaiti children and children in the United States used mobile devices extensively. Kuwaiti children appeared to have greater access to and usage of mobile devices than children in the United States. Children were able to demonstrate and describe many activities in their usage including answering mobile phones, taking photos and videos, playing games, listening to songs, and watching videos. The research provides children’s perspectives about digital devices but also draws attention to the responsibilities of parents and educators to monitor children’s usage and teach children about e-safety in their use of these devices.

Keywords

Digital technology Mobile devices Early childhood Children’s perspectives Cross-cultural research 

Résumé

Cette étude explore l’utilisation et la compréhension des appareils mobiles par les enfants. L’étude inclut 112 enfants âgés de 3 à 5 ans, dont 53 vivaient au Koweït et 59 aux États-Unis. Les enfants ont été interrogés sur leur accès et leur utilisation d’appareils mobiles, sur la façon dont ils ont appris à utiliser les appareils mobiles ainsi que sur les actions et activités dans lesquelles ils se sont engagés avec les appareils. Les résultats indiquent que tant les enfants du Koweït que des États-Unis utilisent beaucoup les appareils mobiles. Les enfants koweitiens semblent avoir plus d’accès et d’usage des appareils que les enfants étatsuniens. Les enfants étaient en mesure d’indiquer et décrire de nombreuses activités, par exemple répondre aux téléphones portables, prendre des photos et des vidéos, jouer à des jeux, écouter des chansons et regarder des vidéos. Cette recherche présente la perspective des enfants sur les appareils numériques, mais attire également l’attention sur la responsabilité des parents et des éducateurs de superviser l’utilisation des enfants et d’enseigner aux enfants la sécurité sur Internet quand ils utilisent ces appareils.

Resumen

Este estudio exploró el uso y la comprensión de los niños sobre los dispositivos móviles. El estudio incluyó 112 niños de 3 a 5 años de edad, de los cuales 53 vivían en Kuwait y 59 vivían en los Estados Unidos. Los niños fueron entrevistados sobre su acceso y uso de dispositivos móviles, sobre cómo aprendieron a usarlos, y sobre las acciones y actividades en las que interactuaron con los dispositivos. Los hallazgos demostraron que tanto los niños kuwaitíes como los niños en los Estados Unidos usaban los dispositivos móviles extensivamente. Los niños kuwaitíes parecían tener un mayor acceso y uso de dispositivos móviles en comparación con sus contrapartes estadounidenses. Los niños pudieron demostrar y describir muchas actividades en su uso, como contestar llamadas telefónicas, tomar fotos y grabar vídeos, jugar juegos, escuchar canciones y ver vídeos. La investigación proporciona las perspectivas de los niños sobre los dispositivos digitales, pero también llama la atención sobre las responsabilidades de los padres y educadores a la hora de controlar el uso de dispositivos por los menores y enseñarlos acerca de la seguridad electrónica que exige el uso de éstos.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of EducationKuwait UniversityKaifanKuwait
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Basic Education CollegePublic Authority for Applied EducationAl-ArdiyaKuwait

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