Early education and technology

Evidence-based articles from Digital Child researchers and collaborators.

Quick links:  Digital Platforms  |  Digital Citizenship

Using digital platforms to communicate between home and school creates benefits but also many challenges

The emergence of digital platforms provides new opportunities for extended communication between educators and families.

But there are also challenges that come with digital platforms for schools, services, teachers, early years educators, parents and children, such as increased digital workload, information overload, coercive participation and the public sharing of children’s data.

Three ways to ensure digital communications support the best kinds of home–school connections.

In our research, we focused on school uses of YouTube by children, which differ from home uses. We conducted individual and group interviews and surveys with school students in four schools (two in Mexico City, with 60 students, and two in Buenos Aires, with 116 students). 

Digital learning is rapidly becoming reality in classrooms around the globe through use of online platforms.

In a recent publication in the Harvard Educational Review coauthored with José van Dijck, we argued that this platformization of education—the integration of digital platforms into daily school practices—forms a major cause of concern worldwide for the autonomy of schools, teachers and young children.

Academic article: Exposing ‘data’ about educational technology through a design intervention

Edtech platforms can obtain and analyse the personal information of users but the reverse can’t be said. Our researchers explore the possibilities of reversing this power imbalance.

Xinyu Zhao, Rebecca Ng, Chris Zomer, Gavin Duffy, Julian Sefton-Green,
Database as method: Exposing ‘data’ about educational technology through a design intervention, Computers and Education Open, Volume 6, 2024, 10.1016/j.caeo.2024.100188.

With funding from the eSafety Commissioner’s Online Safety Grants, this project implemented a digital citizenship curriculum developed in the United States by Common Sense, an internationally renowned non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a digital world.

Digital citizenship is a term that describes the knowledge and skills individuals require to successfully participate in societies where digital media and technologies play a central role in daily life. It is important for entertainment and leisure, learning and education, employment, and for social, cultural and civic participation.

The Children’s Internet and online games

 Technology is often promoted to parents as being necessary for children’s learning and development. Schools and education systems make choices about which technology companies’ products to use. There is frequent hype about the ability of technology to revolutionise learning, but these claims are often unfounded.

The Manifesto for a Better Children’s Internet is a comprehensive guide to creating an internet and digital technologies more suitable to the needs of children and far removed from the current content free-for-all. This includes recommendations that schools and education systems develop better processes for selecting digital resources and products for classroom use. 

Read the Manifesto

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