Internet of toys across home and early childhood education: understanding the ecology of the child’s social world

Lorna Arnott, Ioanna Palaiologou, Colette Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This article presents findings from an ongoing international study of
children’s use of Internet-connected toys (IoToys) across Scotland,
England, Northern Ireland and Greece. The authors sought to investigate
practices with IoToys across homes and early childhood settings. Data
from 12 case study families and approximately 200 children who interacted with case study children in early childhood settings were collected
alongside interviews with parents and educators. Findings indicate
that digital difference between home and education is recurring due to
infrastructure and budgetary issues in early childhood settings, resulting
in organic play-based IoToy use at home versus structured adult-directed
teaching of IoToys in early childhood practice. Working from a social-ecological theoretical frame however demonstrated that children skilfully
and fluidly transitioned between digital and non-digital play and across
diverse socio ecological contexts of home and early childhood settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages11
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Volume28
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • digital childhood
  • Internet of things (IoT)
  • ecologies
  • home/education divide
  • play
  • early childhood education

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