Children's and Families' use of computers in Australian homes

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    Children's approaches to learning may be changing as a result of their interactions with modern technologies. In Australian society there have been quantum leaps in the use of and reliance upon computers and information and communications technologies. An understanding of the lived experiences and interactions of children of various ages with computer technologies in their homes is the focus of this article. Such an understanding informs the work of educators who wish to provide effective instructional environments that draw on children's starting points and the positive aspects of their home computing environments. The research found that children's family computer resources, patterns of use and sociocultural contexts combined to affect children's computing experiences. Several discourses exist surrounding the use of computers by families. These discourses are the importance of computers for education, for the future and as productivity tools. From children's discussions emerged a comfortable co-existence of 'toy use' (for playing games) and 'tool use' (for purposeful work and leisure tasks) when using the computer and a preference for an exploratory mode of learning. A number of key elements present in domestic computing environments were identified as contributing significantly to children's learning. Implications for teachers are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-196
    Number of pages15
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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