Children's virtual worlds and friendships during COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


From March 2020 in Australia, the covid-19 pandemic resulted in regulations for social distancing, which meant that students were homeschooled. Social distancing exponentially increased the exposure of most young children to digital technology such as touchscreens (iPads) and digital flip cameras. This study focuses on two seven year- old children who maintain their friendship during covid-19 by imaginary performances and playing virtual games. A cultural–historical approach is used in the study to analyze the children’s experience as they connect through virtual worlds and build imaginary spaces, contributing to sustaining their relationship during challenging times. Findings indicate that the children built a collective social situation of development integrating sophisticated imaginary, real and virtual worlds. The children’s perspective– their motive orientations and intentions towards a new social situation provided new opportunities for learning in a virtual imaginary world. The combination of real, imaginary and a virtual world supported the children to experience a range of emotions including joyous moments, empathy and attunement as they encouraged each other to participate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalVideo Journal of Education and Pedagogy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • visual technologies against isolatin
  • friendships
  • virtual worlds
  • virtual games
  • imaginary performances
  • COVID-19

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