The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

ISBN 9781138303881
Published July 23, 2019 by Routledge
494 Pages

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Book Description

As fast-evolving technologies transform everyday communication and literacy practices, many young children find themselves immersed in multiple digital media from birth. Such rapid technological change has consequences for the development of early literacy, and the ways in which parents and educators are able to equip today’s young citizens for a digital future.

This seminal Handbook fulfils an urgent need to consider how digital technologies are impacting the lives and learning of young children; and how childhood experiences of using digital resources can serve as the foundation for present and future development. Considering children aged 0–8 years, chapters explore the diversity of young children’s literacy skills, practices and expertise across digital tools, technologies and media, in varied contexts, settings and countries.

The Handbook explores six significant areas:

  • Part I presents an overview of research into young children’s digital literacy practices, touching on a range of theoretical, methodological and ethical approaches.
  • Part II considers young children’s reading, writing and meaning-making when using digital media at home and in the wider community.
  • Part III offers an overview of key challenges for early childhood education presented by digital literacy, and discusses political positioning and curricula.
  • Part IV focuses on the multimodal and multi-sensory textual landscape of contemporary literary practices, and how children learn to read and write with and across media.
  • Part V considers how digital technologies both influence and are influenced by children’s online and offline social relationships.
  • Part VI draws together themes from across the Handbook, to propose an agenda for future research into digital literacies in early childhood.

A timely resource identifying and exploring pedagogies designed to bolster young children’s digital and multimodal literacy practices, this key text will be of interest to early childhood educators, researchers and policy-makers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Emerging Field of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

Ola Erstad, Rosie Flewitt, Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Íris Susana Pires Pereira

Part I Perspectives on Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

1 Researching the Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children: A European Agenda for Change

Jackie Marsh

2 Theorizing Digital Literacy Practices in Early Childhood

Ola Erstad and Julia Gillen

3 Researching Digital Literacy Practices in Early Childhood: Challenges, Complexities and Imperatives

David Poveda

4 Ethics and Researching Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices

Rosie Flewitt

5 Comparative Global Knowledge about the Use of Digital Technologies for Learning among Young Children

Sonia Livingstone, Sun Sun Lim, Anulekha Nandi and Becky Pham

Part II Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices in Homes, Communities and Informal Learning Spaces

6 Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices in Homes: Past, Present and Future Research Directions

Kristiina Kumpulainen and Julia Gillen

7 Reconceptualizing the Home of Digital Childhood

Marta Morgade, Cristina Aliagas and David Poveda

8 Older Siblings as Mediators of Infants’ and Toddlers’ (Digital) Media Use

Andra Siibak and Elyna Nevski

9 Safety (and Security) Issues in Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices at Home

Stéphane Chaudron, Rosanna Di Gioia and Monica Gemo

10 Children’s Divergent Practices and Access to Digital Media in Home, School and Neighbourhood Communities

Mastin Prinsloo

11 "You know what’s glitching?": Emergent Digital Literacies in Video Game Play

Edward Rivero and Kris D. Gutiérrez

Part III

Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices in Early Education Settings

12 Digital and Media Literacy-related Policies and Teachers’ Attitudes

Christine W. Trültzsch-Wijnen, Sascha Trültzsch-Wijnen and Kjartan Ólafsson

13 Pedagogical Approaches to Digital Literacy in Early Years Education

Stavroula Kontovourki and Eufimia Tafa

14 Inclusivity and Young Children’s Digital Literacy Practices in Early Education

Grace Oakley

15 Young Children’s Digital Play in Early Childhood Settings: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Teachers’ Knowledge

Elizabeth Wood, Joce Nuttall, Susan Edwards and Sue Grieshaber

16 Remixing Emergent Literacy Education: Cross-age, Plurilingual, Multimedia Adventures in Narrative Teaching and Learning

Heather Lotherington

17 Posthuman Theory as a Tool to Explore Literacy Desirings: Sara-Taylor-iPad-Book Becoming in Writers’ Studio

Candace R. Kuby and Tara Gutshall Rucker

Part IV Reading and Writing on Screen

18 Young Children’s Writing in the 21st Century: The Challenge of Moving from Paper to Screen

Clare Dowdall

19 Digital Reading in the Early Years: Expertise, Engagement and Learning

Íris Susana Pires Pereira, Cristina Vieira da Silva, Mônica Daisy Vieira de Araújo and Maria Manuel Borges

20 Children’s Reading in the Digital Age: A Research Summary on Children’s Digital Books

Natalia Kucirkova

21 The Role of Moving Images in Young Children’s Literacy Practices

Margaret Mackey

22 Availability and Quality of Storybook Apps Across Five Less Widely Used Languages

Adriana G. Bus, Trude Hoel, Cristina Aliagas Marin, Margrethe Jernes,  Ofra Korat, Charles L. Mifsud and Jan van Collie

Part V Negotiating Digital Literacy Lives in Hybrid Virtual and Physical Spaces

23 Young Children’s e-books as Digital Spaces for Multimodal Composing, Translanguaging, and Intercultural Sharing

Mary E. Miller and Deborah Wells Rowe

24 Virtual Play – Developing a Baroque Sensibility

Cathy Burnett and Guy Merchant

25 The Quantified Child: Discourses and Practices of Dataveillance in Different Life Stages

Giovanna Mascheroni and Donell Holloway

26 Minecraft ‘Worldness’ in Family Life: Children’s Digital Play and Socio-material Literacy Practices

Michael Dezuanni

27 Digital Literacy Practices in Children’s Everyday Life. Participating in On-screen and Off-screen Activities

Pål Aarsand and Helen Melander Bowden

28 P(l)aying Online: Toys, Apps, and Young Consumers on Transmedia Playgrounds

Karen E. Wohlwend

29 Webs of Relationships: Young Children’s Engagement with Web Searching

Susan Danby and Christina Davidson

Part VI Emergent Themes and Future Visions

30 Future Pedagogical Approaches to Digital and Multimodal Practice in Early Childhood Education

Anne Jyrkiäinen, Kirsi-Liisa Koskinen-Sinisalo, Pirjo Kulju, Reijo Kupiainen, Marita Mäkinen, and Angela Wiseman

31 Emergent Challenges for the Understanding of Children’s Digital Literature

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

32 Researching Children’s Play and Identity in the Digital Age: A Holistic Approach

Becky Parry and Fiona Scott

33 Taking a Wide-Angled View of Contemporary Digital Literacy

Amélie Lemieux and Jennifer Rowsell



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Ola Erstad is Professor and Head of the Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway.

Rosie Flewitt is Reader in Early Communication and Literacy, UCL Institute of Education, London, UK.

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer is Professor in the German Department at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Íris Susana Pires Pereira is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Education of the University of Minho, Portugal.