Digital Media in Human Development

Digital media are everywhere and are therefore a major part of our lives and the lives of our children. The new specialisation in Digital Media in Human Development focuses on the opportunities and challenges of digital media in child rearing and education.

Digital Media in Human Development is one of the eight specialisations of the Master’s programme in Education and Child Studies that you can choose at Leiden University.

The master’s specialisation Digital Media in Human Development distinguishes itself from other programmes in the field of digital media by paying explicit attention to the role of digital media in child rearing, education, the treatment of problems and how digital media influence child development.

Themes that occupy the minds of experts in digital media in human development include:

  • Digital beginnings: growing up with digital media: young children learning through augmented reality compared to real life action – effects of virtual worlds in apps;
  • Digital media and digital culture: synergy between children’s online and offline digital literacy practices, with the proliferation of apps and toys that embed augmented reality: relationship between childhood cultures, play and literacy;
  • Excessive media consumption as a cause of addiction and other kinds of developmental psychopathology and differential susceptibility to media effects;
  • Internet: online opportunities, risks and safety – harmful consequences: EU Kids Online;
  • Use of social media in new forms of child maltreatment and bullying;
  • Family rules and monitoring regarding children’s (social) media use;
  • Games and learning: design and play practices of games, role of feedback, children’s media industry;
  • Media and literacy: promise of multimedia, the boundaries between traditional and new literacy practices;
  • Current best practices in digital learning and teaching in nursery and primary schools: the role of online tutoring, the use of built in pedagogical agents, pedagogical implications of technology development for teachers;
  • Using social media to enhance the effects of family interventions, online therapy – interapie – signaling child problems through internet.

Why choose this specialisation at Leiden University?

Child rearing and instruction are changing under the influence of digital media, that is characterized by rapid developments in applications for computers, mobile telephony, handhelds, virtual reality, internet, MOOCs, serious gaming and other digital devices and techniques.

Given the new opportunities offered by digital media, but also the inherent dangers and risks, it is essential to equip students who will be taking up practical, policy oriented and scientific positions in this field with evidence based knowledge.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Education and Child Studies
  • Degree Master of Science in Education and Child Studies
  • Mode of study Full-time and part-time. Part-time study is not possible for students requiring a visa or residence permit.
  • Duration 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60396

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