Children, play, and computers in pre-school education

L Plowman, C Stephen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper reports a study designed to inform the development of an information and communication technology strategy for the pre-school years of education. The main methods of collecting evidence were observations at seven pre-school settings and interviews with at least two practitioners and a number of children at each site. Practitioners generally referred to children "playing with the computer". We describe some of the problems to be found in the emphasis on free play in nurseries and play groups when this means children are using computers as complete novices. There were few examples of peer support; adults rarely intervened or offered guidance and the most common form of intervention was reactive supervision. Interaction with a computer was therefore a limited experience for most children, but we provide examples of guided interaction that suggest a way forward for professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Children, play, and computers in pre-school education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this