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Digital Tools and Streaming Media Converge to Inspire Social Interactions of Generation Alpha


Educators and parents increasingly report the influence of digital culture on the daily lives and relationships of young children. Contemporary young children are growing up in a world saturated with digital technologies. Adapting to this phenomenon, the existing classroom is evolving into an environment that supports the interface between digital technologies as educational tools with digital technologies as social tools. This mini-ethnographic case study sought to develop a deeper understanding of how engaging with digital tools shapes the social interactions of young children. Data for this study was gathered in Israel from 10 five-year-old English-speaking participants, through interviews, participant observations, and field notes. Data analysis resulted in key findings related to how children: (1) engage in online social environments; (2) watch online movies alone or with family members; and (3) utilize stories and characters portrayed in these movies as the common communication thread and basis for social classroom interactions. This study shows that educators and parents of young children should examine their digital affordances carefully in order to identify and support what children gain from their engagement in digital culture, particularly in the worlds of digital media.


Les éducateurs et les parents rapportent de plus en plus l'influence de la culture numérique sur la vie quotidienne et les relations des jeunes enfants.

Les jeunes enfants contemporains grandissent dans un monde saturé de technologies numériques. S'adaptant à ce phénomène, la salle de classe évolue et prône un environnement entre les technologies numériques en tant qu'outils pédagogiques et les technologies numériques en tant qu'outils sociaux.

Cette mini-étude de cas ethnographique visait à mieux comprendre comment l'utilisation des outils numériques façonne les interactions sociales des jeunes enfants.

Les données de cette étude ont été recueillies en Israël auprès de 10 participants anglophones de cinq ans, au moyen d'entretiens, d'observations de participants et de notes de terrain.

L'analyse des données a abouti à des conclusions clés sur la façon dont les enfants :

  1. 1)

    s'engagent dans des environnements sociaux en ligne ;

  2. 2)

    regardent des films en ligne, seuls ou avec des membres de la famille ;

  3. 3)

    et utilisent les histoires et les personnages décrits dans ces films comme fil conducteur commun et base pour les interactions sociales en classe.

Cette étude montre que les éducateurs et les parents de jeunes enfants devraient examiner attentivement leurs possibilités numériques afin d'identifier et de soutenir ce que les enfants gagnent de leur engagement dans la culture numérique, en particulier dans les mondes des médias numériques.


Educadores y padres notan más y más la influencia de la cultura digital en su cotidiano y sus relaciones con los niños pequeños.

Los niños pequeños de hoy crecen en un mundo saturado de nuevas tecnologías.

En adaptación de este fenómen, las clases existentes evolucionan en un ambiente que apoya el interfaz entre las tecnologías digitales tanto como herramientas educacionales y con las tecnologías digitales como herramientas sociales.

Este estudio sobre un pequeño caso etnográfico procura desarrollar una comprensión más profunda de cómo interactuar con las herramientas sociales molde las interacciones sociales de los niños pequeños.

Los datos para este estudios fueron recogidos en Israel con 10 participantes de cinco años, de idioma inglés,a través entrevistas, observaciónes de los participantes y anotaciones de campo.

El análisis de los datos resultaron en cuántos hallazgos claves vinculados con cómo los niños:

  1. 1)

    involucran en un entorno social

  2. 2)

    miran películas online solos o con sus familias

  3. 3)

    Y utilizan las historias y los personajes retratados en estas películas como vínculo común de comunicación y base para las interacciones sociales de la clase. Este estudio muestra que ambos educadores y padres de niños pequeños deberían examinar cuidadosamente cómo abordar el tema digital para identificar y apoyar lo que los niños ganarán desde su compromiso en la cultura digital, más precisamente en el tema de los médios digitales

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Correspondence to Sharon Kaplan-Berkley.

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Kaplan-Berkley, S. Digital Tools and Streaming Media Converge to Inspire Social Interactions of Generation Alpha. IJEC 54, 185–201 (2022).

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  • Generation Alpha
  • Digital tools
  • Kindergarten
  • Social interactions
  • Play