This article describes chronologically the main lines of the implementation of ICT in kindergartens, and ICT’s place in education programmes from the mid-1990s until today. It discusses the lack of interest among public authorities in recognizing the role technology can have in modern early childhood and the necessity of promoting digital literacy in kindergartens and pre-school teacher education.
This ongoing research examines how early childhood practitioners build, shape, and maintain digital practices through talk and action, assuming shared construction and development of knowledge. Based on empirical data I suggest looking beyond the social situated idea of knowledge building to include multiple elements, like individual knowledge, discourse and materiality, in analyses of the digital practice field in kindergarten. The discussions are both theoretically and empirically driven and tend to create a dynamic context model as a representation of the digital practice field.
Based on data from two studies, the practice of using participants – here children and parents – as co-researchers to document children’s everyday practices is discussed. Participants’ video recordings have been analysed from a post-humanistic perspective, in which focus is placed on what kind of data are produced and how this is done within these activities. It is shown how the researcher loses control with regard to understanding how these observations have been made. This raises questions concerning research ethics, as well as the quality of the empirical material that has been collected and that the researcher has to handle. In addition, it is argued that the conditions under which these data are produced demand critical thinking with regard to what analyses can be done.
We have explored the role of a tablet computer (the Apple iPad) and a shared display as extensions of a practitioner’s repertoire for language learning and literacy practices in a multicultural kindergarten.
In collaboration with a practitioner, an intervention was designed that included the use of two iPad apps in a language learning and literacy practice session with a group of 5 children aged 5.
We have analysed the conversations around the tablet computers and in front of a shared display, trying to identify types of talk. The roles of the iPads, the apps and the shared display are discussed in relation to the types of talk, engagement and playfulness observed in the activities.
We argue that the intervention led to valuable activities for language learning and literacy practices. The two selected apps differ in their levels of structure (directed vs. open) and genre (show and tell vs. fairy tale), and this difference will be discussed in relation to the types of conversation they initiate, and the extent to which they enable the children to transfer experiences from books and hence develop their literacy to include digital and multimodal resources.
Keywords: iPad, apps, teacher role, conversations
The digital universe of young children (Guðmundsdóttir & Hardersen, 2012) is the first research report by the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education on children below school age. The main findings show large differences in access to ICT, in the media experiences and digital competence that children from 0 to 6 acquire at home. In the analysis we examine how the picture of children’s digital daily life can help to strengthen the digital competence of kindergarten employees and of the new kindergarten teacher training. As a next step, this may help to strengthen the kind of pedagogical content kindergartens offer in the future.
The kindergarten project at the The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education will help to promote the development of digital competence in Early Childhood Education and Care and in pre-school teacher-training in a secure and professionally-oriented way. The main goal of the kindergarten project is to develop and strengthen use of ICT for improved quality, a better learning outcome and learning strategies for children in kindergartens and for students in pre-school teacher training. The key aim is to strengthen the digital competence of the entire kindergarten sector in the future. In December 2011 in Norway, 282,732 children attended kindergartens, and there were 88,823 employees in the kindergarten sector (Utdanningsdirektoratet 2012).
Keywords: Kindergarten development, Early Childhood Education and Care and ICT, ICT in kindergarten-teacher training, digital culture of young children, pedagogical use of ICT in the kindergarten