WG4 met in Brno on 23-25 November 2017, hosted by David Smahel at the Institute for Research of Children, Youth and Family, Masaryk University. The meeting was kicked off by the inspiring talk of our guest speaker Shyam Sundar, Penn State University, who discussed the theoretical, methodological and ethical implications of the adoption of smart speakers in families with children. Prof. Sundar relied on theories of human-robot interactions and the MAIN model of credibility (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/de80/aa094f380342a632eadb0ee8d4221e8920ba.pdf) to address the cognitive psychological outcomes of interacting with media.
The group also worked on designing a new phase of the research on the Internet of Toys. While the first phase analysed the commercial and media discourses around the Internet of Toys, the new phase, to kick off in spring 2018, will focus on children’s new place in the commercial discourse as both consumers and producers of YouTube videos. The group will therefore analyse unboxing/toys reviews/ play with me videos in which children, or children and parents, present Internet of Toys (talking dolls and pets, robots, toys-to-life) to other children. Finally, the group of participants organised two panels within the Cyberspace 2017 conference, one on the “The learning opportunities of new digital media for young children” (presenters: Christine Treultzsch-Wijnen; Anca Velicu; Martina Smahelova and David Smahel) and the second on “The opportunities and challenges of the Internet of Toys” (presenters: Vilmante Liubiniene, Patricia Dias, Rita Brito; Donell Holloway; Giovanna Mascheroni)