Children's formal and informal definition of technology

Jieyu Wang, Anita Komlodi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Though today's children have many chances to interact with technology, what they understand about technology from their point of view still needs to be explored. In this poster we report how children define technology and what they understand technology to be in a real-life context. We use qualitative methods aiming to identify the differences in children's formal definitions and their practical understanding of technology. We interviewed six focus groups and asked twenty-six children to create video self documentaries in two countries: Hungary and India. We found consistency between their formal definitions and their statements on their actual use of technology. For example, they stated that technology makes things easier, uses electricity, is entertaining, useful, and harmful as well, which can also be found in their statements of technology use. The differences were that they expressed technology is easy in daily life while in the definition they indicated its complexity. Moreover, they mentioned technology's influence on their social lives, which never appeared in the formal definitions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 iConference
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2012
Event2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Feb 7 2012Feb 10 2012

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
CityToronto, ON



  • children and technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Wang, J., & Komlodi, A. (2012). Children's formal and informal definition of technology. In Proceedings of the 2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012 (pp. 587-588). (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series).