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Parents, pre-schoolers and learning with technology at home : some implications for policy

Plowman, L. and Stevenson, O. and Mcpake, J. and Stephen, C. and Adey, C. (2011) Parents, pre-schoolers and learning with technology at home : some implications for policy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27 (4). pp. 361-371. ISSN 0266-4909

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Abstract

Schemes that seek to ensure that children have access to technology at home have, so far, been aimed at children over the age of 8. However, there is likely to be an increasing policy interest in extending similar schemes to pre-school children given widespread commitment to the value of early intervention in children's education and family life. We draw on three research studies conducted by the authors to discuss the range of technologies that children encounter at home, the different forms their learning takes and family support for learning. We use these findings to provide starting points for considering the implementation of similar schemes for pre-school children and their parents in the future, identifying several questions to consider when developing policy on home access to technology for pre-schoolers: which technologies are most appropriate? Will access to technology at home lead to increased use? What roles do parents play in supporting learning? Which forms of learning are most likely to be promoted?