Special Issue "Emerging Technologies and New Media for Children"

A special issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction (ISSN 2414-4088).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kiley Sobel
Guest Editor
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, New York, NY, USA
Interests: equity and inclusion; diversity; joint media engagement; new media; interactive technology; play; children and families; informal learning; learning sciences; accessibility; human–-computer interaction; human-centered design; co-design.
Dr. Emeline Brule
Guest Editor
University of Sussex, Sussex, UK
Interests: diversity and technology; participatory design; technology policy; accessibility; design education; UX design; evaluation and analysis methods in Design and HCI

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to explore emerging technologies and new media for children (i.e., those in early and middle childhood, tweens, and teenagers). Children’s abilities and needs change rapidly, which demands adapted approaches to the design and research of multimodal, multisensory technologies. To design the right technologies for early childhood, we first need to have a clear understanding of what types of interactions with technology and new media are appropriate and supportive of sensory-motor, social, and affective development. Less investigated in human–computer interaction, cognitive and social changes of adolescence are also impactful for multimodal technology design. Such investigations are especially important as physical distancing measures are being implemented widely, affecting billions of families across the globe. Many children are not physically attending school or other activities outside of their homes, limiting their opportunities to interact with their peers. Technologies and new media are currently among the few means available for children to play, learn, be entertained, communicate, socially connect and interact, collaborate, etc. at a distance. However, this also reshapes and brings to the forefront inequalities, digital and otherwise.

How might emerging technologies and new media harness embodiment, movement, touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste for children’s positive engagements? How might multimodal technologies for children shrink gaps in equity divides, as opposed to widening them? How might they be designed to be safe, engaging, and beneficial to children’s social–emotional, cognitive, and physical development? How can they support and empower diverse children not only now, at home, while we are physically apart, but also beyond this current time?

We encourage authors to submit original research articles, case studies, reviews, theoretical and critical perspectives, and viewpoint articles on emerging technologies, new media, and children, including but not limited to:

  • Theoretical or position papers: What do we know or need to know about children’s sensory needs and development that can affect what we design for them? Vice versa, how do new advances in interactive technologies influence how children’s sensory needs change and develop? How should multimodal interaction be designed to accommodate different sensory and material cultures?
  • Critical engagement with specific technologies and new media approaches, such as virtual, augmented, mixed, and cross realities; sensing and machine learning systems; AI-tailored media content; transmedia entertainment systems; robotics; remote communication and collaboration tools; etc.;
  • Exploration of methods or methodological approaches appropriate for designing and researching multimodal, interactive technologies and media for children (e.g., interaction, multimodal, and phenomenological analysis; participatory design; video-based studies; remote studies);
  • Case studies on the design and research of emerging multimodal technologies and new media for children;
  • Empirical studies on children’s use of emerging technologies and new media (individually, collaboratively, synchronously, asynchronously, at home, remotely, etc.);
  • Emerging trends and potentials in the research and design of innovative multimodal technologies and media for children.

Of particular interest are articles that critically explore emerging technologies and new media for children that harness multimodality and multisensoriality, with integrative perspectives and methods, and that address issues of equity, inclusion, and/or accessibility, and help kids to play, learn, and grow.

Dr. Kiley Sobel
Dr. Emeline Brule
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Children
  • Youth
  • Play
  • Learning
  • Child development
  • Interactive technology
  • New media
  • Multimodal and phenomenological analysis
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Accessibility
  • Socialization
  • Sensory cultures

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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