Practitioner perspectives of technology use in early years settings.

Harvey, Emma (2023) Practitioner perspectives of technology use in early years settings. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Perspectives of early years practitioners in English preschools were the focus for this thesis. Particularly exploring the use technology in the EYP role, and how they support children to use technology. Originally, intending to explore how the removal of technology and ICT from the 2021 revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework would affect provision, data was collected during the national lockdowns of COVID-19, so practitioners also shared experiences of how the use of technology and digital media changed during this time, and how children’s technology and digital media use in settings differed from pre lockdown.

To ensure data collection could continue during lockdowns, the original data collection method of focus groups changed to telephone interviews and online questionnaires that allowed 103 practitioners to share their views. However, despite a change in methods, a qualitative methodology remained.

Data suggests practitioners used digital media more during periods of lockdown, providing learning opportunities for children, meeting virtually with colleagues, and supporting parents. Children’s technology and digital media use in settings also changed; due to policy guidance, sanitising equipment and keeping children in ‘bubbles’ meant sharing devices became more difficult.

Practitioners shared opinions and beliefs that children use technology too much at home, without considering whether children use technology for consumption or creation in these spaces. Further, practitioners often use technology with children to ‘tick a box’ for OFSTED without considering how these technologies can be woven into the classroom ecology to benefit all areas of learning and development as a tool for multimodal learning.

Recommendations for practice include working with qualification awarding organisations to ensure early years qualifications include some content on technology use, and the creation of a lead practitioner role (Digital Activity Lead Co-ordinator, or DALCo) who can champion and lead technology use in their setting.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2023 14:38
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 14:38


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