• Dr Kelly Johnston
  • Research Fellow (Alum)
  • University of Wollongong

Dr Kelly Johnston’s research focuses on digital technology in early childhood and how it is integrated in play-based pedagogies as well as in everyday life experiences. Kelly has expertise in qualitative research methods, including approaches that position participants as co-researchers. Kelly has a strong interest in theory and is involved with the European Early Childhood Education Research Association Digital Childhoods Special Interest Group as a work stream convenor for theoretical frameworks and research methods. Kelly’s research has informed and been driven by her work as a lecturer in early childhood education, specialising in digital technology, maths, science, play, and pedagogy. She also brings a wide range of experience in the early childhood education and care sector. This includes working as an early childhood teacher and service director in Australia and New Zealand, primary school teaching in the UK and also working in early childhood licensing and quality assessment at both a state and federal level.

Kelly is working in the Educated Child program investigating digital platforms for connecting families and early childhood educators, digital play, and projects that explore digital technology in STEM learning and maker spaces with young children, educators and families. She hopes that her work with the Centre builds children’s capacity for agency in digital spaces, both now and as technology continues to shift and evolve throughout their lives.  Kelly also hopes her research can inform frameworks for building higher quality digital resources, tools and experiences for children.

Earliest digital memory
Being completely captivated by my beloved split screen Donkey Kong. I can see now that this marked the beginning of my love of digital play!