Extending opportunities for learning: The role of digital media in early education

Lydia Plowman, Joanna McPake, Christine Stephen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Many people believe that children need to become competent users of digital media to avoid disadvantage or marginalisation and to become assured, discriminating, and eff ective members of society. For others, the ubiquity of these technologies has led to concerns about the ways in which they are seen to exert infl uence on the lives of young children. Like it or not, most people would agree that children’s experiences with technology – whether for play, learning, or communication – will have signifi cant implications for their future lives. We prefer to engage with this transformation rather than seek to establish a technology-free version of the past in the present. Nevertheless, we are aware that some of these changes are driven by the marketisation of education (Selwyn, 2011), a rhetoric of progress through technology (Plowman et al., 2011) and sometimes infl ated claims by media and technology industries. Later in this chapter we describe some of our concerns about the use of digital media in preschool settings. We are not inclined to base a general denunciation on these shortcomings, but prefer to consider the contribution that thoughtful use can make to young children’s learning and how this might be achieved, while recognising the need for balance in children’s activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Debates in Childhood Education and Development
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780203115558
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2012


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