ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child: Supporting children in the digital age

The QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) is delighted to be participating in the $34.9 million ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, announced by Minister for Education Dan Tehan yesterday.

The Centre’s seven year, transdisciplinary research program will involve experts from education, health and digital and social connectedness, and result in policy recommendations and guidelines and drive public debate around the realities of a child’s life in a digital world, including practical guidance for families in navigating the digital environment, and informing technology innovation for young children.

The Centre is led by QUT’s Faculty of Education, and will be directed by Professor Susan Danby, who is also a current member of the DMRC. Researchers from QUT will collaborate with national and international experts at five Australian universities and 33 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, Asia and America. Together they will provide an additional $32.2 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre.

Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni will play a leading role as a Chief Investigator in the new centre. Dezuanni’s forthcoming book Peer pedagogies on digital platforms – Learning with Minecraft ‘Let’s Plays’ on YouTube (MIT Press, 2020)  explores the relationships that form between family friendly Minecraft Let’s Players and their fans, leading to new kinds of learning. DMRC Director Professor Jean Burgess will also participate in the new Centre as an Associate Investigator.

DMRC’s research contributions to the ARC Centre for the Digital Child will focus on digital trends and children’s cultures, children’s online friendships, children becoming digital citizens, and the datafication of childhood. The work will include analysis of children’s experiences socializing and playing in digital contexts, including on platforms like YouTube, Minecraft, Steam, and TikTok.

Read the full QUT media release here 

More information about the ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.