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Presumed dangers of technology related play for children exaggerated by media

Article By: Julia Corbett, News Editor

The importance and lifelong value of play is being explored in a new online course run by Sheffield University.

The seven week course ‘Exploring Play’ is set to provide students with an exploration of the debates surrounding play, including the invention of digital and technology based play which has been highly reported on in the media as damaging for children.

The course is set to dismiss this belief and reveal active and imaginary play is still a popular aspect of children’s lives as they grow up with continuing importance into adulthood.

Professor Jackie Marsh, who is leading the course with Professor Elizabeth Wood from the University of Sheffield’s School of Education, said: “We’re now used to regular media reports that decry that ‘play is dead’, and newspaper columnists who lament that children do not play anymore and instead spend all of their time sitting in front of a screen. But is this really the case?

“In our free online course we’ll demonstrate that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Play is very much alive – across all age groups and all walks of life.”

Students of the course will learn about how play has developed throughout history and across different cultures to encourage people to become more playful parents or carers.

The course aims to encourage people to be aware how play is a crucial part of many careers and boosts innovation and creativity in many aspects of adult life.

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is being run by FutureLearn which is owned by The Open University and aims to provide students with learning experiences centred on social interaction and shared conversations about their learning and course.

To sign up for the course, or for more information, visit:


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