A Day in the Digital Lives of 0-3 Year Old Children
Given the widespread use of digital technologies in contemporary communication, there is an increasing trend for young children to use an array of digital, interactive, converged and personalised devices. These fast-changing practices are transforming the ways that even the youngest children learn about language and early literacy, yet very little is known about how digital technologies permeate the everyday lives and learning of very young children. This paper reports on a small-scale scoping study of how young children aged 0-3 years engage with digital technologies as part of their everyday lives at home, and how parents support their early language and literacy learning with digital media. The study used an innovative ‘Day in the life’ methodological approach, which involved three to four visits to home settings and included one full day of video recording of each family’s everyday activities. The paper discusses the opportunities and challenges of using this methodology, and offers unique insights into how very young children engage with diverse media in today’s technology-rich world, where participation requires the mastery of a complex repertoire of representational ‘modes’, including combinations of spoken language, music, gaze, gesture and body movement.