Webs of relationships: Young children's engagement with web searching

Susan J. Danby, Christina Davidson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


We live in a social world in which communication and everyday literacy practices have been transformed by the digital turn (Mills 2010). From birth, many young children’s lives are immersed in their families’ everyday use of multiple media (audio, video, print and screen based resources) and even very young children are experiencing the 21st-century phenomenon of digital communication, entertainment and gaming. Technological change has inescapable implications for young children, not only for their early literacy development, but also in terms of how parents and professional educators can help to equip today’s young citizens for a digitally connected future (Säljö 2010). But how and in what ways can we characterize and understand these new early literacy practices? What does it mean in terms of how children learn and how we can best support their learning in this fast-changing communications landscape? Our key aim in this Handbook is to begin to build a shared understanding of the challenges facing early literacy development that have been brought about by fast-evolving technological change, by global flows of people, multiculturalism and multiliteracies. Our focus is specifically concerned with children aged 0–8 years – younger than those covered by most research – and the extent to which digital technologies have changed their childhoods and literacy experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge handbook of digital literacies in early childhood
EditorsOla Erstad, Rosie Flewitt, Bettina Kummerling-Meibauer, Iris Susana Pires Pereira
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780203730638
ISBN (Print)9781138303881
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameThe Routledge international handbook series


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