The iPads and opportunities for teaching and learning for young children project was initiated to inform the current debate on young children's iPad use and to understand the perspectives of teachers, young children and their parents/caregivers. The researchers in the project collaborated with two early childhood educators to investigate the educational affordances of iPads for teaching and learning with children in an early childhood education (ECE) centre within Hamilton. In the centre, iPad use was child-directed with a teacher present to guide and facilitate children's participation within group contexts. This paper reports on the nature of the talk young children (4 year olds) engaged in while using the iPad in interaction with one another and their teacher. An interpretive methodology framed the design and conduct of the study. Observations were recorded (video and audio recordings and photographs) and focused on interactions between teachers and children and among children while using the iPad. Data were analysed using an adaptation of Mercer's (1994) ‘talk types' framework which discriminates between cumulative, exploratory and disputational talk. Initial findings indicated that children used different kinds of talk to support one another's attempts to work through an application on the iPad, to remind one another about the rules/norms related to iPad use in a group setting, and to extend the sharing of interests whilst maintaining social relationships and a sense of belonging at the centre. The iPad afforded a unique potential as a shared, public learning device and enabled young children's ease of sharing content and working together. The teacher's role and the nature of teacher-to-child talk in terms of helping children become aware of the iPad's affordances and the ground rules for its appropriate use was crucial in realising the iPad's potential. The findings highlight the important role teachers have to play in scaffolding young children's ability to develop talk strategies valuable to their learning and exploration with the iPad in the ECE context. They have implications for curriculum and pedagogy in early childhood and early primary classrooms.
|Name||AARE Conference Proceedings|
|Conference||The Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference|
|Period||30/11/14 → 4/12/14|