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Internet of Toys for Young Children: Educational Value or Threat?

Internet of Toys for Young Children: Educational Value or Threat?
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Author(s): Kleopatra Nikolopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 16
Source title: Handbook of Research on Using Educational Robotics to Facilitate Student Learning
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Stamatios Papadakis (University of Crete, Greece) and Michail Kalogiannakis (University of Crete, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6717-3.ch017


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The internet of toys (IoToys) is a new technological innovation that regards toys connected to the internet, while some such toys can adapt to the actions of the users-children. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss potential benefits and risks/threats associated with young children's engagement with IoToys. Potential benefits include opportunities for personalized play and learning, ownership, creativity, digital skills, and new types of interactions. In parallel, an internet-connected toy usually collects information about the users, can be hacked, and there are risks about children's privacy, personal data safety and security, as well as social risks. Safe conclusions cannot be drawn as to whether IoToys' potential educational value outweighs potential risks or vice versa. Potential risks arise strongly and seem difficult to be counterbalanced by potential opportunities. The play affordances of the hybrid toys, which are both educational and entertaining, are expected to contribute to new understandings of children's (digital) play.

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