This project is developing new pedagogies for teaching and learning in the early years that integrate children’s interests in digital media and technologies with traditional forms of play such as construction, pretend play, gross motor play, and fine motor activities. Participating kindergarten teachers are using a new observation and planning approach, called the ‘web-mapping tool’, to assess young children’s interests in digital media and technologies, and integrate these interests with the provision of traditional play-activities in early childhood education. The tool has already been used by educators in Ballarat, Knox and Casey, who have described the tool as ‘user-friendly’ and ‘invaluable’ for helping them to integrate digital media and technologies with play-based learning.
Children access technologies, digital media and popular culture on a daily basis and therefore knowledge and practices about play that are responsive to these experiences are needed. This project is funded by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project) and aims to understand what and how children are learning through play when they interact with technologies, digital media, and popular culture, and generate effective early childhood teaching practices by working closely with teachers using an innovative (web-mapping) tool for planning and implementing learning experiences for a total of 120 focus children from 20 kindergartens.
This project has attracted international interest from the following colleagues:
Barron, B., Cayton-Hodges, G., Bofferding, L., Copple, C., Darling-Hammond, L., & Levine, M. (2011). Take a giant step: A blueprint for teaching children in a digital age. The Joan Ganz Cooney Centre at Sesame Workshop and Stanford University.
Edwards, S. (2015). New concepts of play and the problem of technology, digital media and popular-culture integration with play-based learning in early childhood education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, DOI: 10.1080/1475939X.2015.1108929
Gutnick, A. L., Robb, M., Takeuchi, L., & Kotler, J. (2011). Always connected: The new digital media habits of young children. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
Nuttall, J., Edwards, S., Mantill, A., Grieshaber, S. and Wood, L. (2015). The role of motive objects in early childhood teacher development concerning children’s digital play and play-based learning in early childhood curricula. Professional Development in Education, 41(2), 222-235.
Plowman, L., McPake, J., & Stephen, C. (2010). The technologisation of childhood? Young children and technology in the home. Children and Society, 24(1), 63–74.
Vandewater, E., Rideout, V., Wartella, E., Huang, X., Lee, J., & Shim, M. (2007). Digital childhood: electronic media and technology use amongst infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Paediatrics, 119 (5), 1006-1015.
Edwards S. Digital Play. In: Tremblay RE, Boivin M, Peters RDeV, eds. Pyle A, topic ed. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/play-based-learning/according-experts/digital-play. Published February 2018. Accessed February 6, 2018.
Useful links for educators and families
Edwards, S., Grieshaber, S., Nuttall, J., & Wood, E. (under review). New Play: A pedagogical movement for early childhood education. In D. Whitebread (Ed.), SAGE Handbook of Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood.
Grieshaber, S. (2017). Keynote: Social Justice, Research Relationships, and Researcher Responsibility. Paper presented at the 27th EECERA Annual Conference Social Justice, Solidarity and Children’s Rights, Bologna, Italy.
Grieshaber, S., Edwards, S., Nuttall, J., Wood, E., Mantilla, A., Bartlett, J., & Ploeg, A. (2017). Keynote: Enabling Digital and Popular Culture Play Using a Web-mapping Tool. Paper presented at the DigiLitEY 2017, Bologna, Italy.
Grieshaber, S., Edwards, S., Nuttall, J., & Wood, E. (2017). New Play Pedagogies for Early Childhood Education. Paper presented at the ECER 2017 – Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent Roles of Policy and Educational Research, Copenhagen.
Nuttall, J., Edwards, S., Mantilla, A., Grieshaber, S., & Wood, E. (2015). The role of motive objects in early childhood teacher development concerning children’s digital play and play-based learning in early childhood curricula. Professional Development in Education, 41(2), 222-235.
Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., Edwards, S., Wood, E., Bartlett, J., & Katiba, T. (2017). Expanding Australian Early Childhood Teachers’ Conceptual ‘Tool Kit’ for Fostering Learning Based in Children’s Digital and Popular Culture Play.Paper presented at the ECER 2017 – Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent Roles of Policy and Educational Research, Copenhagen
Edwards, S., Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., Wood, E., Mantilla, A., & Bartlett, J. (2015). Digital technologies and young children’s play in early childhood education. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia.
November 18, 2016