Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Paper, iPads and child literacy

News Image

Find yourself a pre-schooler and there will be a tablet nearby. It’s often a source of concern, after all shouldn’t they be reading books? Yes and no, digital literacy will be all the more important as the future unfolds and while print is good, exposure to both old and new information formats is important.

In particular, children from low socio-economic settings are even more at risk of their education being trapped in print-based literacy with little recognition of their knowledge about, or even access to, these new technologies and digital resources, says Flinders University Professor in Early Childhood Studies Nicola Yelland.

Yelland believes the jobs of the future increasingly will rely on digital media and skills that are still emerging from learning and playing in these newer technologies.

However, by contrast school teachers are required to stick to curriculum requirements and prepare children for NAPLAN and other testing milestones, placing digital learning in a separate – rather than complementary – field of ‘new learning’.

“Teachers should be encouraged and supported to incorporate the use of tablets and a range of apps in learning options,” Professor Yelland says.

“We need to reconceptualise more progressive thinking towards early childhood pedagogies in literacy."     

Based on a study of 462 children aged from 2–8 years old over four years, the paper reports that the learning experiences of the focus group (children aged 4–8 years) could particularly be enhanced by uniting their enthusiasm for digital media with traditional modalities.

“The paper illustrates the ways in which these multimodal learning ecologies can work to support emergent literacy which is viewed as a foundational skills needed by all children in order to thrive in their learning,” Professor Yelland says.  

The paper, ‘A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Young children and multimodal learning with tablets’ (September 2018) by NJ Yelland, has been published in British Journal of Educational Technology (Wiley Online) Vol 49, 5, pages 847-858. DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12635    


17 Oct 2018
Tax deductions for teachers News Image

As the October 31st tax deadline is approaching, now is the perfect time for teachers and those working in education who haven’t yet lodged to get their taxes up to date. Read More

17 Oct 2018 | National
Wakakirri announces national story dance of the year winners News Image

Big stories about big issues have been at the forefront of Wakakirri this year, themes explored included reconciliation, environmental conservation and mental health, the winners have now been announced. Read More

17 Oct 2018
New resource teaches kids about periods News Image

Period Talk is Australia’s first education module designed to get kids talking about periods, removing the taboo and embarrassment that has surrounded the subject for so long. Read More

15 Oct 2018 | NT
School based policing starts again in NT News Image

The Territory Government’s school-based policing program has recommenced, the program focuses on positive youth engagement and the delivery of vital safety education. Read More

15 Oct 2018 | National
Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is Women in STEM Ambassador News Image

Award-winning astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith has been selected as Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador.
Read More