A free online resource for early career and experienced researchers and research users, the toolkit offers a range of tools and guidance on theory relating to children’s digital lives.
In the toolkit, you can find: 1) Theory pathways: answers to researchers’ questions on how to understand theory, link it to evidence and apply it in practice. 2) Key areas: theories and concepts relating to children’s digital lives, linked to sources, discussion and debate. 3) Resources: blogs, vlogs, webinars and reports on relevant theories and concepts.
Video: How to use the theories toolkit. If you have trouble loading the video, you can also watch it here on our YouTube channel.
Pathways: creating and applying theory
Theory pathways: answers to researchers’ questions on using theory.
Key areas of children’s digital lives
Key areas with theories and concepts relating to children’s digital lives
The child, children and young people
Development and evolving capacity
Structures and cultures of childhood
Diversity and difference
Technology and affordances
Uses, users and domestication
Normative values in design
Innovation and datafication
Place and time of access
In/equality and in/exclusions
Fixed and mobile access, wearable technologies
Participation and activism
Information and exploration
Play, creativity, fun
Learning and information skills
Digital skills and competencies
Data literacy and e-safety
Civic and other literacies
Content, contact, conduct, contract risks
Familiar and emerging risks
Cross-cutting risks, including privacy
Relation between risk and harm
Digital wellbeing and health
Mental ill-health and anxiety
Resilience and coping
Socialisation, family and school
Sociality and peer support
Professional help services
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The team at the LSE works on theory, providing a series of mutually cross-fertilising mechanisms to coordinate and support the theoretical dimension of research. The team identifies valuable theoretical concepts that offer multidisciplinary breadth and depth in understanding the long-term impact of digital media on children and youth, and coallates all in a comprehensive theories toolkit that provides guidance throughout the theory pathway, from (research) question to generating theory.
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 (UK). She currently directs the projects “Children’s Data and Privacy Online,” “Gobal 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 countries EU Kids Online research network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OECD and UNICEF, among others, on children’s internet risks, safety, media literacy and rights in digital environments. She blogs at www.parenting.digital. She is leader of the CO:RE work package 5 on theory.
Mariya Stoilova is a post-doctoral researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) working on children’s rights, online risks and opportunities, and well-being. She is member of the CO:RE work package 5 on theory.