Young children’s creativity and connected learning with digital technologies: Case studies from the home, early years centres and schools


This project investigates the impact of digitisation on the nature of young children’s creativity and connected learning experiences. Working with teachers in schools, early years centres, play groups and families at home, this multi-site case study research will identify the digital elements in children’s learning environments, nature of their digital play, teacher pedagogies and parental engagement, with a focus on ethical conduct across all case studies. The impact of digitisation on children’s creativity will be explored across the dimensions of Product: original and fit for purpose, Person: perspectives on who does the creative thinking, Place: elements of an enabling environment and Process: characteristics of children’s creative thinking.

Project aims

  • generate rich and detailed evidence to support recommendations for early years. pedagogies of learning, elements of digital environments enabling creativity
  • create principles of practice and resources for teachers and parents supporting children’s digital experiences

Project design

Stage one (Formal early childhood learning context – school, early childhood centre or play group):

  • map formal learning environment (document audit and embedded digital technologies)
  • video record children’s use of digital technologies in the formal learning context
  • semi-structured interview with educators

Stage two (Home):

  • map home environment and location of embedded digital technologies
  • qualtrics survey with parents
  • video children’s self-chosen digital play
  • video children’s play with a provided coding device/toy and or digital STEM activity



Activity plan 2022

  • project proposals developed and candidature confirmed for 2 new PhD students
  • ethics obtained for the overarching project and variations submitted as required for the new students as they start their PhD program
  • pilot ‘Creativity Cove’ in collaboration with Scitech, a program of digital play experiences
  • recruitment of 10 to 15 children and families to participate in the studies
  • collection of initial data and video capturing children’s digital play experiences


July 2021 – December 2025


Associate Professor Karen Murcia

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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.