Technology and literacy in early childhood educational settings: A review of research

This literature review provides an overview of research into technology and literacy for children aged 0-8 in educational settings from 2003-2009. The paper begins by exploring the different assumptions about the role of digital texts that underpin the studies considered, identifying three loose categories of studies which position technology as: deliverer of literacy; site for interaction around texts; and medium for meaning-making. Following this, actor-network theory (Latour, 2005) is used to consider other ways that technology and children may be „acting upon‟ literacy in educational settings through recontexualising meanings from other domains. The paper concludes by arguing that there is a need for more extensive exploratory research in this field, which considers how digital practices within educational settings relate to other dimensions of children‟s literacy learning, in order to better understand how new technologies are and could be contributing to children‟s literacy within educational settings. It also suggests that actor-network theory may offer a way of destabilising the assumptions that frame research into young children‟s engagement with new technologies in order to conceptualise this in new ways.

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