A cultural-historical analysis of digital technologies in practice: a case study of early childhood settings in Melbourne, Australia
2017-05-15T05:50:51Z (GMT) by
Digital technologies have become ubiquitous in many young children’s everyday experiences in the home and wider community. This study explores the use of digital technologies across five distinct early childhood settings within a Melbourne municipality. The study explored 12 educators’ perspectives on the use of digital technologies in the early childhood classroom, conducted classroom observations and collected documents from the settings. Through the application of the cultural-historical theoretical lens, the study discovered that digital technologies are most effectively used with young children when the use is integrated into the early childhood classroom. However, in the participating early childhood settings, digital technologies were not integrated—three of the classrooms treated them as an add-on to the curriculum on a needs basis, and the two remaining settings embedded them in the classrooms. Using digital technologies as pedagogical tools in the early childhood classroom is a complex task that requires support and a joint effort from a range of stakeholders. The findings of this study have led to the development of a transformative framework that provides practicing early childhood educators with a starting point for employing digital technologies as an integral element of the early childhood classroom curriculum.