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In this chapter, we argue that early childhood technology research would benefit from a critical approach to education technology by refocussing attention on the context and the state of the actual in early childhood education, instead of focussing only on the effects of technologies on early education. We begin by considering the evidence researchers have about what technologies young children use and where they are most likely to use technologies. We introduce into this discussion the questions that arise for teachers out of the intertextual relationship between technologies, digital media, and popular-consumerist culture. We then report on a recent study where we worked with preschool teachers in Melbourne, Australia, to understand how they recognized and interpreted the relationship between technologies, media, and popular culture in terms of children’s play and the implications of these interpretations for their thinking about children’s learning.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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