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Are we allowed to blink? Young children’s leadership and ownership while mediating interactions around technologies

Arnott, Lorna (2013) Are we allowed to blink? Young children’s leadership and ownership while mediating interactions around technologies. International Journal of Early Years Education, 21 (1). pp. 97-115. ISSN 0966-9760

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Abstract

This article describes the formation of children's social interactions around technologies in preschools. This paper presents evidence from a study that explores how 3- to 5-year-old children construct their social interactions through the mediation of their peers while using technological resources. Utilising a systematic and iterative data collection and analysis cycle, children's interactions with 24 technological resources were examined over a nine-month period and across three phases. Findings reveal that children draw on social status roles and technological positions to gain control and influence over technologies and their peers. When combined these roles and positions affect children's agency to determine social interactions around technological resources. In essence, this paper demonstrates that a complex social dynamic, in addition to technological artefacts, shape children's social interactions in contemporary technology-rich preschools.