Today's post has been inspired by a new report from Ofcom - Digital Day 2014 reports on a project which assessed how children's use of media differs to their parents, and found that children are more likely to watch online content that television. In fact, Ofcom have been responsible for a number of reports this year - Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes is a hugely detailed report which examines media and computer use among 3-15 year olds, while the Ofcom Report on Internet Safety Measures and Children's Online Behaviour: Issues of Risk and Trust both look at issues surrounding online safety and parental supervision.
Another organisation who have produced multiple reports about children and ICT are EU Kids Online. In July of this year they published Net Children Go Mobile, which explores how children and young people make use of the internet and mobile technologies in their daily lives. EU Kids Online were also behind the 2013 report entitled Zero to Eight: Young Children and their Internet Use, and a recent report which made policy recommendations to "make the internet a better and safer place for children."
If you're an early years practitioner, you might be wondering how all this discussion relates to your working role, in which case you could be interested in a 2011 CfBT publication entitled Engaging Early Years Foundation Stage Children in Computer-Based Play. There are also a number of freely available journal articles of relevance: you could try looking at Playful and Creative ICT Pedagogical Framing: a Nursery School Case Study, or Computer Use by Preschool Children: Rethinking Practice as Digital Natives Come to Preschool (scroll down to Page 37!). Also available are Seven Myths about Young Children and Technology, and Can We Let Computers Change Practice? Educators' Interpretations of Preschool Tradition, though you'll need to create a free account with the ResearchGate site to view the full text of that last one.
One area that has attracted particular attention is how technology impacts on children's literacy skills. For a useful overview of this topic, you could try reading a 2010 article entitled Technology and Literacy in Early Childhood Educational Settings: a Review of Research. More recently, the National Literacy Trust has published two reports on Children's Use of Technology in the Early Years, one of which covers parents' perspectives, while the other one examines practitioner perspectives.
Still not had enough? Some further reports from recent years are listed below:
- Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education
- Their Space: Education for a Digital Generation
- Younger Children and Social Networking Sites: a Blind Spot
- Always Connected: the New Digital Media Habits of Young Children
- The Technologisation of Childhood? Young Children and Technology in the Home
- Use of ICT by Young People in England (requires a ResearchGate account to access)
I'm sure some site visitors will know of further useful resources in this area, in which case you could share them with other readers by leaving a comment on this post. Below is a thought-provoking clip from YouTube which went viral in 2011; it's called A Magazine is an iPad that Doesn't Work.