Screens or no screens: Understanding young children’s use of digital technologies

Full reference
Robinson-Kennedy, M. (2019). Screens or no screens: Understanding young children’s use of digital technologies.  NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal. Special issue presenting early childhood position papers, 22(2), pp. 18 - 25. 

You may also be interested in the following paper:
Anderson, R. and Toh-Heng, H.L. (2019). Factors influencing the use of digital technology in early childhood education. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 22(1), 31-45. 


Page 18

 

Original Position Paper

NZ International Research in ECE journal

Screens or no screens: Understanding young children’s use of digital technologies

Maya Robinson-Kennedy

 

Abstract

Children are accessing digital-technologies at younger ages and at an increasing rate, especially in the home environment. There is growing evidence that the type of digital-technology, the time spent accessing it, and the resulting displacement of other activities, are both the most significant factors to consider and the most frequently overlooked. As a result, young children’s development and wellbeing may be negatively impacted, and learning opportunities missed. Parents and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) educators have different approaches to children’s use of technologies. Parents have reported using screen-time to occupy children and/or manage behaviour. There is also a belief that many digital games and programs are educational. ECEC educators have demonstrated a dearth of knowledge and confidence in implementing technology into the curriculum, and therefore often do not use digital-play in their pedagogy. This paper proposes that in order to harness the potential of digital-technology as a tool for inquiry, creativity, imagination, and play, we must look beyond screen-based devices to technologies that promote children as producers, not consumers, of digital content.

Key words: Digital technology, screen-based learning, digital play, ICT.

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