Digital technologies in Day-care institutions: Tracing different uses by children and pedagogues

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Abstract

Digital technologies are gaining an ever increasing access into the activities in Danish and Nordic day-care institutions. The traditional critical viewpoint of technologies as being opposed to the well-being of children is challenged in part by substantial access to digital tools in infant life, in part by new technologies designed with an intuitive and inviting user interface.
In a one-year research project ’Digital tools in day-care-institutions’ (2015) financed by The Danish Agency for Digitisation and The Ministry of Education we have investigated the role of digital technologies in relation to questions of learning and the agenda of Pedagogical quality in early childhood education. Our part of the project has had a special focus on relations between use of technology and children´s possibilities of participation in learning environments and childrens’ communities.
The data in the project are produced in close cooperation with practitioners through case-studies. The pedagogues have formulated assumptions of outcomes of planned activities involving use of technology within the focus areas. The course of activities has been documented through videotaping, and analysed by both practitioners and researchers.
Theoretically the study takes its outset from a socio-material grasp of technologies, understanding technologies as a cultural force that takes part in the – pedagogical - interactions. Furthermore, we are occupied with childrens´ perspectives in the exploration of pedagogical quality of learning environments including digital technologies. From this follows a focus on the preferred activity of children: playing.
In the paper we will elaborate on two – preliminary - interrelated - findings: 1) Children and adults are handling technologies in substantially different ways 2) The professionals are to a large degree lacking a professional language of technologies in a pedagogical context.
Going through the data-material we are getting aware of substantial different ways of using technologies by children and grown-ups. The pedagogues are using technologies to create learning environments with more or less formulated learning goals. The technologies are, for example, included in activities where the participation of the children aims at taking pictures thematized by the pedagogues, producing small films or developing knowledge of numbers and concepts. In other words, the technologies are inscribed in performances of dominant cultural ways of acting and thinking. Also, most often the pedagogues’ use of technologies follow the immediate possibilities offered by the technologies.
From the videos of these activities it appears that the children follow two tracks of participation. Either the children work on mastering the expected cultural forms and codes with more or less enthusiasm or they take sideways, creating their own communities of playing with the cultural forms involving a playful use of body, language and technology.
Taking this observation as a starting point, we will describe the different uses of technology among children and pedagogues. We hereby hope to contribute to the development of professionalism in the use of digital technologies in day-care institutions comprising curiosity, investigation, and critique, and a more child-centered pedagogy in the use of digital technologies.
Translated title of the contributionDigitale teknologier i dagtilbuddet - forskellig brug af børn og pædagoger?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventNERA 2016: Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity - Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 9 Mar 201611 Mar 2016
http://blogs.helsinki.fi/nera-2016/

Conference

ConferenceNERA 2016
LocationHelsinki
Country/TerritoryFinland
CityHelsinki
Period09/03/1611/03/16
Internet address

Keywords

  • children and youth

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