A reciprocal digital relationship between home and school: a case study from Saudi Arabia using cultural–historical theory

Omar Sulaymani, Marilyn Fleer, Denise Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Use of tablet technologies, like the iPad, are now commonly used in families and have become customary in the everyday lives of children. This paper explores how the use of iPads at school influences children’s activities at home and how children’s activities at school can be influenced by home activities. A case study of one child (aged 5.8 years) in Year 1 in a primary school in Saudi Arabia is presented to explore the relationship between children’s active engagement with iPads at home and school. In the case study, video observations of the child’s iPad activities at home and school are analysed. The research draws upon cultural–historical theory and concepts of demands and motives. The argument is made that the introduction of iPads into the classroom generates new demands on children and stimulates new motives towards the use of iPads in both the school and at home. This can generate a reciprocal digital relationship that advances child development in ways that support changes in classroom practices as well as at home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Case study
  • Cultural–historical theory
  • Early childhood education
  • iPads
  • School transition

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