Technologies to support learning in the Early Years: observations from two different perspectives

S Eagle, A Manches

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


This paper arises from an ESRC and Futurelab funded network that aims to develop an understanding of early years learning with digital technologies. The authors are holders of studentships in different departments in different universities. The paper arises from the authors’ literature reviews on young children’s learning with nondigital artefacts and is concerned firstly with the potential for reviews of research literature to provide a basis for developing approaches to the design of interactive digital technologies for this age group (children aged 3-8), and secondly with the potential synergies that develop from being part of a collaborative network. Working from the idea that practices with new artefacts are extensions and adaptations of existing practices with existing artefacts, we have explored theoretical and empirical research which enables us to better understand how artefacts support learning, both through their nature as physical objects and through human social practices with them. The authors’ approaches belong to two different theoretical perspectives: one concerned with the role of artefacts in the development of cognitive skills, the other with the role of artefacts in the organisation of social interaction. Despite the different theoretical perspectives and orientation of the literature reviewed we have found points of commonality. These are: the relationship between the tool as a physical object and the way that it is used, the guidance of the adult, and the relationship between home and school learning. We outline elements of our literature reviews, our individual research projects and discuss the value of the collaboration that the network has allowed.
Translated title of the contributionTechnologies to support learning in the Early Years: observations from two different perspectives
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th Conference of JURE: Innovative and Creative Perspectives: New Directions in Educational Research. Leuven, Belgium, 8-11 July, 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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