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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Steve Higgins

Jack, C. & Higgins, S.E. (2019). What is educational technology and how is it being used to support teaching and learning in the early years? International Journal of Early Years Education 27(3): 222-237.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

There are many digital technologies available to support teaching and learning. Historically the focus has tended to be on computers, but this has extended to include interactive whiteboards and tablets. As well as these technologies, which were originally designed for adults, there are devices specifically designed to support teaching and learning in the early years. These tend to be overlooked in the literature. This project aimed to find out if this reflected practice in early years settings. Participants from 20 early years settings in the North East of England were asked about ‘educational technologies’. This term was deliberately not defined, the aim was to find out what they thought it meant. They were asked about the technology they had, and how it was being used. This provided an opportunity to explore whether their use of technology fit with their beliefs about teaching and learning. Findings suggest that technology is seen as more than computers and that technology is being used to support a broad range of activities in line with practitioners’ pedagogical beliefs.