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Young Children as Multimodal Learners in the Information Age

Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC,volume 10)

Abstract

This chapter explores the lives of young children in the Information Age and recognizes that they are significantly different because of the ubiquitous presence of new technologies. One of the advantages of new technologies is that they enable children to engage in inquiry and meaning-making in a variety of modes beyond the linguistic. They can incorporate visual, aural, oral, kinesthetic, and spatial modalities to communicate and make sense of the world. In this way, children in the Information Age are multimodal learners and become multiliterate by experiencing and using new technologies in diverse ways. This chapter describes data from empirically-based studies to illustrate the ways in which early childhood pedagogies can incorporate the use of new technologies. These new technologies permeate every aspect of our lives, and young children come to formal learning contexts in the early years of schooling with a wide range of experiences, yet their fluency with new media is often ignored. Traditional media and play are favored, and there are seldom opportunities to playfully explore with new media or even incorporate them into play contexts. Here, these assumptions are interrogated and examples are provided of the ways in which new technologies can offer unique contexts for multimodal learning and meaning-making in the Information Age.

Keywords

  • Multimodal learning
  • Young children
  • Digital learning
  • Early childhood curriculum

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Correspondence to Nicola Yelland PhD. .

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Yelland, N. (2015). Young Children as Multimodal Learners in the Information Age. In: Heider, K., Renck Jalongo, M. (eds) Young Children and Families in the Information Age. Educating the Young Child, vol 10. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9184-7_9

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