Teachers as designers to support young children's technologically assisted experiential learning using IoToys

Sarika Kewalramani, Dr Lorna Arnott, Ioanna Palaiologou, Maria Dardanou

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Teachers as designers to support young children's technologically assisted experiential learning using IoToys Sarika Kewalramani (1), Lorna Arnott (2), Ioanna Palaiologou (3), Maria Dardanou (4), (1) Monash University, Australia; (2)University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom; (3) University College London, United Kingdom; (4) UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway This paper presents findings from an on-going international study of Early Childhood (EC) teachers' and children's use of internet connected toys (IoToys) across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Greece, Australia and Norway to understand digital pedagogies in supporting young children's experiential learning and creativity. Research has shown how important it is for all EC actors (such as teachers and parents) to blend teaching and learning practices that may involve traditional and digital play situations for spurring children's creativity and imagination (Edwards & Bird, 2015; Fleer, 2017). Working from a social-ecological theoretical frame (Bronfenbrenner, 2009) and using Vygotsky's (1978) mediation theory, this study considers that cognitive development results from social interaction of children with teachers being the 'more knowledgeable other' in the child's socioecological environment. Using case study methodology, data collection involved participant observation Plowman and Stevenson (2012) of teachers' and children's play experiences with the IoToys, alongside semi-structured interviews with teachers and children's photo voice sessions were video recorded. Consent forms were sought for the researchers to actively engage with the play experiences. Children's safe internet use was ensured. Findings showed that the teachers, although novice and hesitant to engage children's play with the robotic toys, believed IoToys enhanced children's creativity and design thinking. Children's active engagement and experimentation motivated the teachers to plan for more such experiences. Implications lie in the need for transforming teachers' technology innovation practices whereby teachers need not take a didactic approach, rather sensitise and learn together alongside children about how to best integrate IoToys for experiential learning. Keywords: internet enabled toys, digital pedagogies, young children's experiential learning, creativity, technology innovation practices
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2019
EventEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference 2019 - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 20 Aug 201923 Aug 2019
Conference number: 29th


ConferenceEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleEECERA 2019
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