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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of the Digital World for Early Childhood Services with Vulnerable Children

1
E-Learning Research Lab, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
2
Child Well-being Research Institute, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
3
Department of Education, Uppsala University, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Te Rū Rangahau: The Māori Research Laboratory, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
5
Sector Enablement and Support, Ministry of Education, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112407
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Mobile Phone Addiction: Health and Educational Effects)
Potentially addictive behaviours supported by the internet and mobile phones raise concerns in education services for early childhood. Although there is evidence that screen media can distract the attention of young children, there was a massive uptake of digital devices by early childhood centres (ECCs). We investigated practices of families (n = 85) and of six ECCs serving vulnerable children in New Zealand, many of whom are emergent bilinguals. Descriptions of the limited and exemplary choice of screen media of the ECCs include digital portfolios containing children’s learning stories in multiple languages illustrated with digital photos. This was facilitated by increasing partnership with the families and the inclusion of their languages in the physical and digital landscapes of the ECCs. However, these families and the ECCs are seeking additional guidance to face the complex challenges of the digital world. These early findings from our national research programme, A Better Start, E Tipu E Rea, already informed significant changes in the ECCs; we also identified the potential for young children to act as agents of change. View Full-Text
Keywords: internet addiction; mobile phone (or smartphone) use; young children; early childhood education; parenting; emergent bilinguals; intergenerational language transmission internet addiction; mobile phone (or smartphone) use; young children; early childhood education; parenting; emergent bilinguals; intergenerational language transmission
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Harris, L.; Davis, N.; Cunningham, U.; De Vocht, L.; Macfarlane, S.; Gregory, N.; Aukuso, S.; Taleni, T.O.; Dobson, J. Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of the Digital World for Early Childhood Services with Vulnerable Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2407.

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