Supporting young children as digital citizens

The importance of shared understandings of technology to support integration in play-based learning

Kelly Johnston*, Fay Hadley, Katherine Highfield

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The ubiquity of technology in contemporary society positions it as a significant cultural tool in children’s lives. Definitions, conceptualisations and understandings of the relevance of technology are diverse which can hinder integration of technology in early learning settings. This paper presents findings from a doctoral research project that investigated Australian educator beliefs and practices in relation to technology integration within play-based curriculums for children aged three to five years. The key findings presented relate to creating connections and shared conceptualisations of technology between educators, families and directors of early learning services. Shared understandings of the sociocultural relevance of diverse technological tools were found to facilitate technology integration in the curriculum. Rogoff’s (1995) three planes of analysis were utilised to identify and understand the interplay between the personal, interpersonal and community levels of sociocultural activity. A significant implication is identification of the need for professional discussion, professional learning and critical reflection opportunities to extend educator understandings of technology as socially, culturally, and pedagogically relevant for young children. Sharing this knowledge in collaborative partnerships between educators, families and management can support children’s development as digital citizens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)896-910
    Number of pages15
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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