podcastNovember 1 2016

Living and Learning in the Digital Age

Sonia Livingstone

Databite No.89

Sonia Livingstone presents her book, The Class – Living and Learning in the Digital Age.



Where and why do digital media – and digital media learning – fit into the lives of young teenagers living in complex urban societies? Do they help build valued connections, or enhance opportunities to create, learn and participate? Or do they lead to hyper-connection, surveillance and loss of privacy for young people?

Reflecting on a year’s ethnography with a class of 13 year olds, exploring their sites of living and learning online and offline, Sonia argues that their understandable desire for ‘positive disconnections’ means crucial opportunities to learn are being missed. These might be overcome with a more child-centered or even child-rights approach to the digital age.

Sonia Livingstone OBE is a full professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Author of 20 books and many articles, Sonia researches the opportunities and risks for children and young people afforded by digital and online technologies, focusing on media literacy, social mediations, and children’s rights in the digital age. Her new book is The Class: Living and learning in the digital age (2016, with Julian Sefton-Green). Recipient of many honors, Professor Livingstone has advised the UK government, European Commission, Council of Europe and others on children’s rights and safety in the digital age. A fellow of the British Psychological Society, Royal Society for the Arts, and fellow and past President of the International Communication Association, she currently leads the projects Global Kids Online and Preparing for a Digital Future and previously directed EU Kids Online. See www.sonialivingstone.net.

About Databites
Data & Society’s “Databites” speaker series presents timely conversations about the purpose and power of technology, bridging our interdisciplinary research with broader public conversations about the societal implications of data and automation.