Exploring the opportunities and challenges of the digital world for early childhood services with vulnerable children

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Journal Article
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Harris L
Davis N
Cunningham U
de Vocht L
Macfarlane S
Gregory N
Aukuso S
Ova Taleni T
Dobson J

© 2018, MDPI AG. All rights reserved. Potentially addictive behaviours supported by the internet and mobile phones raise concerns in education services for early childhood. Although there is evidence that screen media can distract the attention of young children, there was a massive uptake of digital devices by early childhood centres (ECCs). We investigated practices of families (n = 85) and of six ECCs serving vulnerable children in New Zealand, many of whom are emergent bilinguals. Descriptions of the limited and exemplary choice of screen media of the ECCs include digital portfolios containing children’s learning stories in multiple languages illustrated with digital photos. This was facilitated by increasing partnership with the families and the inclusion of their languages in the physical and digital landscapes of the ECCs. However, these families and the ECCs are seeking additional guidance to face the complex challenges of the digital world. These early findings from our national research programme, A Better Start, E Tipu E Rea, already informed significant changes in the ECCs; we also identified the potential for young children to act as agents of change.

internet addiction, mobile phone (or smartphone) use, young children, early childhood education, parenting, emergent bilinguals, intergenerational language transmission
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
Nga Upoko Tukutuku / Maori Subject Headings::Mātauranga | Education::Waihanga | Teaching methods::Kura pūhou | Early childhood education (Mainstream); Education, Early childhood (Mainstream); Kindergartens (Mainstream); Pre-schools (Mainstream)
Nga Upoko Tukutuku / Maori Subject Headings::Mātauranga | Education::Waihanga | Teaching methods::Kōhanga reo | Early childhood education (Māori); Māori early childhood education; Māori pre-schools; Pre-schools (Māori)
Nga Upoko Tukutuku / Maori Subject Headings::Mātauranga | Education::Mōhiotanga | Knowledge::Ako | Learning::Ako-ā-matihiko | Digital instruction; Digital learning; Instruction, Digital; Learning, Digital
Nga Upoko Tukutuku / Maori Subject Headings::Hauora | Health::Ora | Alive; Living; Well-being::Hauora hinengaro | Mental health
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390302 - Early childhood education
Fields of Research::45 - Indigenous studies::4508 - Mātauranga Māori (Māori education)::450802 - Te Whāriki - te mātauranga kōhungahunga Māori (Māori early childhood education)
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390405 - Educational technology and computing
Field of Research::17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences::1701 - Psychology::170102 - Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Fields of Research::47 - Language, communication and culture::4704 - Linguistics::470411 - Sociolinguistics
Field of Research::17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences::1701 - Psychology::170103 - Educational Psychology
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).