Digital technology as a tool to support children and educators as co-learners

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    Abstract

    Digital technologies are increasingly prevalent and can complement more traditional resources to support children’s investigations and explorations in early learning contexts. A new consideration is the value of technology in positioning early childhood educators as co-learners and co-investigators alongside children. This article presents findings from a case study undertaken with two early childhood educators working with a class of preschool-aged children. The participating educators engaged in a practitioner inquiry project focusing on how technology could support and extend children’s interest in outer space and the solar system. This study found that digital technology supported educators and children to work as co-investigators, moving between the roles of apprentice and expert as they shared pre-existing understandings and sought new knowledge. In addition, digital and non-digital resources were used contemporaneously to support investigation in their ongoing project. The findings provided clear examples of technology as an integrated, complementary resource in play-based learning, supporting children’s agency as they worked with educators to increase scientific knowledge as well as digital handling skills.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)306-317
    Number of pages12
    JournalGlobal studies of childhood
    Volume9
    Issue number4
    Early online date29 Aug 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

    Keywords

    • early childhood
    • science
    • sociocultural theory
    • technology

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