Digital Childhoods


Lorna Arnott, University of Strathclyde, UK
Maria Dardanou, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway


Our SIG is an inclusive group of academics, teachers, practitioners and students who are interested in the researching Digital Childhoods. We have an eclectic mix of members from across the world who are all interested in how technologies are shaping and being shaped, by children. We accept a broad definition of ‘technologies’ to explore how digital devices not only contribute to children’s cognitive development but also have a central place in play, life and leisure activities. We welcome members with a variety of experience and we seek to support new academics who are emerging in the field.


Click here to view the 2017-18 report (pdf)
Click here to view the 2016-17 report (pdf)
Click here to view the 2015-16 report (pdf) Lorna & Jan

News & Events


On belief of the SIG we are developing a special issue proposal for EECERJ on Technology integrated pedagogical practices: A look into Evidence-based teaching and coherent learning for young children.  We are now inviting papers to be considered for this Special Issue.  Full details of the call can be found here.


Many young children now grow up in digital- and media-rich societies, yet research shows that parents and practitioners continue to feel anxious about how best to frame children’s experiences with technologies.

A new Policy Brief, launched today (August 31 2018) at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) conference in Budapest, is based on extensive research conducted by leading researchers in the field, across more than 30 countries in Europe and beyond.

Alongside colleagues from the EECERA Digital Childhoods SIG and the DigiLitEY, an EU COST Action Programme, Dr Lorna Arnott, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of Strathclyde and Dr. Julia Gillen, Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Lancaster University, coordinated the production of the Policy Brief titled: ‘Digital Literacy and Young Children: Towards Better Understandings of the Benefits and Challenges of Digital Technologies in Homes and Early Years Settings’.

The Brief offers a synthesis of the main points of interest in relation to children’s technology use across homes, education, and society.  It discusses the implications of the research for four stakeholders: Practitioners and Teachers, Parents and Families, Young Children, and Policy Makers.

The Policy Brief was jointly produced by the Digital Childhoods Special Interest Group of the  European Early Childhood Research Association and DigiLitEY, COST Action IS1410 funded under the Horizon 2020 programme.

You may download the full Policy Brief here.

Activities & Publications

Policy Brief

  • COST Action IS1410/ EECERA Digital Childhoods SIG, Policy Brief, August 2018, Digital Literacy and Young Children: Towards Better Understandings of the Benefits and Challenges of Digital Technologies in Homes and Early Years Settings

Research Publications

  • O’Connor, J., Fotakopolou, O., Hatzigianni, M and Fridberg, M. (2018 ) ‘Parents’ perspectives on the use of touchscreen technology by 0-3 year olds in the UK, Sweden, Australia and Greece’. Palaiologou, I. and Gray , C., (Eds) (forthcoming) Digital Practices in Early Childhood Education: An international Perspective, London: SAGE.
  • Arnott, L (2017) Technology and Learning in the Early Years, London, SAGE.
  • Arnott, L., Grogan, D., & Duncan, P. (2017) Lessons from using iPads to understand young children’s creativity, Runco, M (Eds.) Creativity and Education, London, SAGE.
  • Marsh, J., Kontovourki, S. Tafa, E. and Salomaa, S. (2017). Developing Digital Literacy in Early Years Settings: Professional Development Needs for Practitioners. A White Paper for COST Action IS1410.
  • O’Connor, J. & Mercer, J. (Eds) (2017) Childhood & Celebrity. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • O’Connor, J. (2017) ‘Appropriate play? Parents’ reflections on 0-3s using touchscreen technology in the home’. In Arnott, L. (2017 forthcoming) Digital Technologies and Learning in the Early Years. London: SAGE.
  • Undheim, Marianne; Vangsnes, Vigdis (2017): Digital stories in Norwegian Kindergartens. Under review by Journal of Nordic Research in Early Childhood Educational Research.
  • Aldhafeeri, F M., and Palaiologou, I., (2016) Interactions with digital technologies of children from 3 to 6 in Kuwaiti homes, in Educational Futures, vol 7 (3), pp 48-68.
  • Aldhafeeri, F., Palaiologou, I., and Folorunsho, A. (2016) Integration of digital technologies into play-based pedagogy in Kuwaiti early childhood education: teachers’ views, attitudes and aptitudes.International Journal of Early Years Education, pp.1-19.
  • Arnott, L. (2016). An ecological exploration of young children’s digital play: framing children’s social experiences with technologies in early childhood. Early Years, 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2016.1181049
  • Arnott, L. (2016). The role of digital technologies. In I. Palaiologou (Ed.), The Early Years Foundation Stage: Theory and Practice. (3 ed.). London, SAGE.
  • Arnott, L., Grogan, D., & Duncan, P. (2016) Lessons from using iPads to understand young children’s creativity, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17 (2) p.157–173
  • Dunn, J.; Gray, C.; Mitchell, D. and Moffett, P. (2016) The impact of resources on the literacy landscape: young children’s views on using iPads in early years classrooms. Paper presented at The Literacy Association of Ireland (LAI) Conference, Dublin, September.
  • Dunn, J., Gray, C., Moffett, P. and Mitchell, D. (2016) ‘It’s more funner than doing work’: children’s perspectives on using tablet computers in the early years of school. Early Child Development and Care. DO!: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1238824 SCoTENS(Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South) Seed
  • Kaye L (Ed) (2016) Young Children in a Digital Age: Supporting Learning and Development with technology in Early Years , London, Routledge.
  • O’Connor, J. and Fotakopoulou, O. (2016) A threat to early childhood innocence or the future of learning? Parents’ perspectives on the use of touchscreen technology by 0–3 year olds in the UK. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 17(2).
  • Palaiologou, I., (2016) Teachers’ Dispositions towards the role of digital devices in play-based pedagogy in early childhood education, in Early Years An International Research Journal, vol 36 (3), pp.305-321 (DOI 10.1080/09575146.2016.1174816)
  • Palaiologou, I., (2016) Children Under Five and Digital Technologies: Implication for Early Years Pedagogy, in The European Early Childhood Research Journal, vol 24 (1), pp 5-24 (DOI:10.1080/1350293X.2014.929876, first published on line 2014).
  • Salomaa, S. (2016a) Mediakasvatustietoisuuden jäsentäminen varhaiskasvatuksessa. [Aspects on media educational consciousness in ECE] Varhaiskasvatuksen tiedelehti. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research. 5 (1), 136–161
  • Salomaa, S. (2016b) Aspects of Educational Consciousness in Early Childhood Media Education. In Í. Pereira, A. Ramos & J. Marsh (eds.) The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children: Engaging with Emergent Research. Proceedings of the first Training School of COST Action IS1410, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, 6th – 8th June, 2016.
  • Vangsnes, V. (2016). The Teacher`s Roles – Alternation between different teacher positions in didactic practices. Paper presented at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA). Dublin, sept. 2016.

Funding Applications

  1. Dunn, J. Funding Grant £3000 (2016-2017) for a 1 year project ‘Writing and iPads in the Early Years’.
  2. Vangsnes, Vigdis – Application sent to Norwegian Research Council (answer in March 2017) Title: Building Sustainable Digital Practices in Kindergarten Literacy and Arts Programmes (DigiSus)


  1. Saara Salomaa, National Audiovisual Institute KAVI (Finland), Media Education Conference in Helsinki. Position in conference: one of the organisers and round table discussion host
  2. Palaiologou, I., represented the SIG in Cyprus 2016 meeting of the COST Action programme for The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children (DigiLitEY), run by Jackie Marsh. A report about this event can be found by clicking here.