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Just picking it up? Young children learning with technology at home

Plowman L, McPake J & Stephen C (2008) Just picking it up? Young children learning with technology at home. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38 (3), pp. 303-319.

We describe a two year empirical investigation of three- and four-year-old children’s uses of technology at home, based on a survey of 346 families and 24 case studies. Using a socio-cultural approach, we discuss the range of technologies children encounter in the home, the different forms their learning takes, the roles of adults and other children and how family practices support this learning. Many parents believed that they did not teach children how to use technology. We discuss parents’ beliefs that their children ‘pick up’ their competencies with technology and identify trial and error, copying and demonstration as typical modes of learning. Parents tend to consider that their children are mainly self- taught and underestimate their own role in supporting learning and the extent to which learning with technology is culturally transmitted within the family.

technology; culture; early childhood education; preschool; informal education; family

Cambridge Journal of Education: Volume 38, Issue 3

Author(s)Plowman, Lydia; McPake, Joanna; Stephen, Christine
Publication date30/09/2008
PublisherTaylor & Francis
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