2021
Annual
Report

Project

Digital play in the early years

Overview

The project explores current research in the field of digital play to identify gaps and under-theorised areas. The findings will inform the design of a series of empirical studies to address these gaps and to support the advancement of our understandings of children’s digital play in preschool and foundation year across diverse settings.


Project aims

  • review how academic research has described and theorised digital play with young children across diverse settings
  • design new and innovative empirical studies that build on existing research in digital play to explore: the ways in which parents and educators engage with digital play with children; children’s pretend play abilities with the digital; and the ways in which digital play supports children’s language and narrative development
  • support early years educators, parents, community, and curriculum designers to develop a contemporary dynamic theorisation of digital play
  • support ways of embedding digital play in day-to-day teaching and learning


Project design

The project will be completed in two stages: (1) two systematic literature reviews to analyse empirical research to understand how digital play is described and theorised in academic research in the contexts of preschool and early years of schooling; and (2) development of empirical studies to address the gaps in the research in children’s digital play.



Partner/s

Early Childhood Australia, St James Parish Primary School, Sebastopol


Activity plan for 2022

  • complete both systematic reviews by May 2022
  • use the findings from these reviews to design future empirical studies in digital play


Timeframe

January 2021 – December 2026


Contact

Professor Louise Paatsch




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The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.