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Early childhood education settings are characterized by the use of play-based learning and the assessment of children’s play by teachers to promote further learning. A problem with technology use in early childhood settings is that little is known about how children learn to use technologies through play. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult for teachers to observe and assess how young children in their settings are learning to use technologies. In this article, we report on the use of a new framework we have previously developed to help educators observe and assess young children’s learning to use technologies through play. Known as the Digital Play Framework, the framework draws on Vygotsky’s ideas about tool mediation to position technologies as tools that children learn to master according to Hutt’s conceptualization of epistemic and ludic play. We suggest that the Digital Play Framework holds potential for supporting educators to identify children’s learning to use technologies through play and therefore opportunities for extending the provision of play-based technology education in the early years.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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