Internet of toys across home and early childhood settings : understanding the ecology of the child’s social world

Arnott, Lorna and Palaiologou, Ioanna and Gray, Colette (2019) Internet of toys across home and early childhood settings : understanding the ecology of the child’s social world. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. ISSN 1475-939X

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    Abstract

    This article presents findings from an on-going international study of children’s use of internet-connected toys (IoToys) across Scotland, England, N.Ireland and Greece. We sought to investigate practices with IoToys across homes and early childhood settings. Data from 12 Case Study families and approximately 200 children who interacted with Case Study children in early childhood settings were collected alongside interviews with parents and Educators. Findings indicate that a digital disconnect is recurring due to infrastructure and budgetary issues in early childhood settings, resulting in organic play-based IoToy use at home versus structured adult directed teaching of IoToys in early childhood practice. Working from a social-ecological theoretical frame demonstrated that children fluidly transitioned between digital and non-digital play and across diverse socio-ecological contexts of home and early childhood settings.