This project brings to life suggested practices for young children, their families and educators to using for participating in digital society. The suggested practices have been generated by project participants, industry organisations and researchers based on four areas of technology use outlined in the Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Statement on Young Children and Digital Technologies. The four areas are Relationships, Health and Wellbeing, Citizenship, and Play and Pedagogy.
Each area has a core principle reflecting how young children and their adults can engage with and use digital technologies in the best interests of young children (Early Childhood Australia, 2018):
Digital contexts are the situations in which young children, their families and educators participate when using technologies. For example, children playing online games at home with their siblings, children and their adults engaging in online shopping, or children and educators using robots to learn about coding. Contexts are made up of practices, or what people say and do with technologies, and how they relate to others and with technologies when they are engaged in digital activities.
In this project, children, families and educators from across Australia have been trialling and adapting different practices for engaging with technologies. They have been supported in these practices by leading national organisations interested in helping young children and their adults to live well with technologies. Some of the organisation in this project are the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Early Childhood Australia, and the Raising Children Network. The combined efforts of the project participants and organisations have been documented using photographs, video footage and observational notes. Children’s learning and development, in areas such as peer relationships and online safety, and access to physical activity and digital play opportunities have also been examined.
The data generated by children, families and educators have been used to identify the range of practices enacted and shared amongst participants Australia-wide, and within and across the four areas of the Early Childhood Australia Statement on Young Children and Digital Technologies. The identified practices have been further developed in collaboration with the national organisations into Practice Ideas that can be shared and used by other children, families, educators, and interested organisations. These Practices Ideas are intended to spark conversations, thinking and activities amongst young children and their adults, and broader national organisations in the best interests of young children growing up and living in digital society.
This project is funded by the Australian Research Council. Linkage Project 190100387