Digital Play and Learning in the Home: Families’ Perspective
This chapter reports on our exploration of families’ perspectives on the role and place of the tablet technologies in their children’s educational and recreational activities. We report on interview data from parents within 17 purposively sampled families with children aged between 3 and 5 years who regularly used various tablet technologies in their homes. Thematic analysis of individual and focus group interview transcripts reveals that all the parents appreciated the opportunities that tablet technologies provide for enhancing their children’s experiences of learning and play. All the parents saw the importance of early learning for their children’s future academic success; many also acknowledged that digital play is part of the “basic” knowledge that children should experience prior to formal schooling. However, none of the parents were sure about the criteria in selecting software applications beyond common-sense criteria of affordability, online information and word-of-mouth recommendations. In the chapter we aim to share the perspectives of parents in relation to the ways that they judge the best practices of using the tablet technologies in young children; their choices of appropriate applications for their children’s recreation and learning, and the ways that they monitor the use of these technologies with their families.
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