Embracing technology

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By Professor John Siraj-Blatchfordresearch and development director

Continuing the debate on the uses of ICT in the Early Years with research on playful learning

Girl with carer playing on a laptop

Why is it that ICT in the Early Years has been getting such a bad press in recent months? It seems like a good deal of the concerns about young children’s passive viewing of television at home are being extended quite uncritically to the use of other screen-based applications of ICT, such as computers in pre-schools.

In 2008, Becta provided a review of the research evidence on the use of ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England. The study was carried out independently by Professor Carol Aubrey and Sarah Dahl at the Early Childhood Research Unit at the University of Warwick. It found that ICT supported the development of positive dispositions to learning that contributed to, ‘personal, social and emotional development and across the EYFS in general’, as well as, ‘extending knowledge and understanding of the world in the broadest sense of communication, language and literacy, problem solving, reasoning and numeracy, creative development and recreational/playful behaviour’. It also supported children in the early development of valuable operational skills.

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