As technology becomes ever more ubiquitous in children's social lives, new research suggests fundamental skills still apply, particularly in environments that mirror real life.
Children's online social lives were a big topic at the annual Society for Research in Child Development conference in Seattle on Thursday. Several new studies presented there suggest that while socializing virtually can make it harder for students to make deep connections with one another, situations that more closely mimic the real world—such as video-chat or avatar environments—can lead to more natural engagement.
Both in and out of school, students are socializing more online. According to an annual report released last month by the Pew Internet and American Life project, 95 percent of teenagers are active online, and nearly three out of four children ages 12 to 17 access the Internet via mobile devices, making virtual connections much more integral to most students' daily lives.