“Digitale Spielgaben”. A first workshop at the Angewandte

During a successful workshop at the Angewandte with external participants as well as students and teachers of the Angewandte, numerous impulses, drafts and models of digital play-gifts were collected.

Since March 2023, the research project “Digitale Spielgaben” (Digital Play Gifts) deals with the examination of digital processes and their mediation through analogue formats. In the process, reference is always made to digitality in its concreteness and countability, which is by far not limited to screen media. The intended concepts are especially but not exclusively directed at children of pre-school and primary school age. The project aims to promote digital competences without increasing the already high screen time.

The workshop opened with a series of lectures: First, Eva Maria Stadler, Vice-Rector for Exhibitions and Knowledge Transfer at the Angewandte, presented Friedrich Fröbel’s eponymous “Spielgaben” (“Play Gifts”). Then Mona Jas, artistic director of the KinderKunstLabor in St. Pölten, which opens in 2024, gave insights into the developments and aspirations as well as the involvement of children in democratic decision-making processes of the KinderKunstLabor. Claus Pias, Professor for Media Theory and Media History at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, introduced the participants to the history of media competence, starting with the Computer Driving Licence.

The Wiener Bildungsserver, cooperation partner in the research project, provided several robots that can be demonstratively programmed and are already being used in kindergarten.

Building on these insights into analogue teaching tools and perspectives as well as various approaches to the development of media competences, a second part of the workshop was dedicated to hands-on experimentation with and translation of digital processes into analogue “play gifts”. Various materials such as KAPLA planks, chickpeas, sugar cubes, braided paper stripes, crayons and many more were available for this purpose. Thus, materials that can often be found at educational and mediation places or can be purchased at low cost.

Through the participants’ imaginative and motivated engagement with the topic, a variety of concepts emerged, which will be further developed into a series of “play gifts”. In the spirit of Fröbel, these concepts aim to be interlinked and to build on each other in order to promote sustainable learning.

“Digitale Spielgaben“



Clemens Apprich, Lola Berger, Florian Bettel, Jonathan Dellago, Stefan Fleischer, Barbara Graf, Anna Gulinska, Mona Jas, Ines Kajtazovic, Andrea Klaura, Joseph Knierzinger, Alexander Müller-Rakow, Claus Pias, Verena Repar, Tanja Rupp, Eva Maria Stadler, Silvia Stocker, Thor Thorsteinsson, Kristin Wadling