Transformative technologies and play in the early years: Using tablets for new learning

Nicola J. Yelland, Caja Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite nearly three decades of the use of new technologies in education, schools seem to have remained impervious to significant change. Heritage curriculum and traditional pedagogies persist and, indeed, are dominant in school contexts, which seem to be embedded in the past, rather than preparing children for their future lives. Pockets of innovation illustrate that transformation is possible and comes with the added benefits of renewed student enthusiasm and engagement in learning. Yet, systemic changes are limited in a global context that is dominated by high stakes testing and the neo-liberal agenda. This article explores the potential for change. Focusing on the early years, which are the foundation of schooling, we report on data from a study using iPads for learning with kindergarten children in Australia (4 and 5 years of age). The data support the contention that new technologies offer the possibility for new learning by enabling young children to embark on investigations and explorations that were not possible in previous eras. In this article, we focus on transformations and explore the potential of the iPads to encourage playful explorations for investigating, reflecting, making meaning, knowledge building, and communicating ideas to a shared audience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-161
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Studies of Childhood
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • early years
  • new learning
  • pedagogies
  • tablet technologies
  • transforming education


Dive into the research topics of 'Transformative technologies and play in the early years: Using tablets for new learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this