The relational space of educational technology: Early childhood students’ views

Kyriakos Demetriou, Zoi Nikiforidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explore early childhood students’ views on how variations in educational technology might impact young children’s learning experiences in the classroom. Initially, a meta-analysis of 33 studies was carried out in order to identify how technology is positioned in children’s lives (m = 4.8 years), identifying two key dimensions: one, regarding aspects of children’s learning and, the other, regarding their personal development. At a second stage, two online vignettes, informed by the meta-analysis findings, were completed by 45 university students studying early childhood studies (N = 45). Participants’ understandings of the interplay between the First Space (material space) and the Second Space (mental space based on perceptions and attitudes) were explored from the perspective of Soja’s Third Space which combines both First and Second Spaces. Data show that alterations in the First Space influence participants’ opinions on the relationship between technology and children’s learning and development. The implications of this study reflect the complexity of educational technology in early years settings where both First and Second Spaces play a significant role and provides the opportunity to implement a spatial perspective on how practitioners can become navigators, transformers and constructors of their own technological praxis and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-305
JournalGlobal Studies of Childhood
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Early childhood
  • Educational technology
  • views and attitudes
  • relational space

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