Sumudu Mallawaarachchi’s PhD thesis seeks to provide better insights into the context of naturalistic smartphone and tablet use in young children in their everyday lives. Using a mixed-methods approach, Sumudu will investigate the multiple influences of child characteristics, parent perceptions and experiences, and the digital environment design of mobile screen content, to inform how we holistically look at early childhood mobile technology use. She hopes her research will aid in outlining actionable targets that could be used as practical recommendations on areas which require further awareness or early intervention in relation to potentially problematic technology use in early childhood. Sumudu also hopes her research will inform evidence-based recommendations for optimising technology use by young children through balancing its benefits and potential risks. Her vision is for children to be able to engage with digital technology in such a way that it complements their wellbeing and development, minimising the potential risks.
Dr Sharon Horwood
Earliest digital memory
I used to think barbie.com was all there was to Internet! I would get so excited for my monthly visit to my mum’s workplace to use the internet (i.e., barbie.com).