chapter  Chapter 17
Childhood 2040
A Wish List
WithWarren Buckleitner
Pages 8

This essay combines a reflection of technology development over the past 20 years with near- and far-future gazing by a child development expert who has played with and reviewed more children’s media than anyone else. The essay examines predictions made then and the reality of technology and digital media in the lives of young children now. While there are examples of developmentally appropriate apps and technology experiences and developers who are returning to old child development theory to guide their design process, this essay raises concerns about negative impacts and inappropriate, unethical and manipulative practices aimed at children and that “steal valuable playtime.” The spirit of Fred Rogers is evoked to remind us that he used the media of his day, broadcast television, as a tool for good. The essay concludes with a list of essentials that should inform educators, parents and developers.