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Engaging Early Years Foundation Stage children in computer-based play

Amy Stancer

The project explored the different ways that computers are used in Early Years classrooms and the characteristics that children consider playful

This book is based on a research project funded by CfBT Education Trust’s Evidence for Education research programme. The ‘Integrating ICT within play-based curricula in the Early Years’ research project was conducted by Justine Howard from Swansea University and Gareth Miles from the University of Glamorgan in November 2010. The research aimed to establish if children’s perceptions of playfulness affected their involvement in computer activities and therefore their potential for development. The project explored the different ways that computers are used in Early Years classrooms and the characteristics that children consider playful. The sample size was 12 classes (3–7 year olds) in South Wales. Teacher interviews established the provision set up and a day’s observation of the provision considered how this engaged children’s involvement. Altogether 103 children rated how ‘play-like’ the organisation of the provision was. This included access, equipment, adult involvement and whether the children worked alone, in pairs, small groups or large groups. The classes observed used computers and whiteboards for continuous, enhanced and focused learning. The classes ranged from using single computers, mini-suites (several computers arranged together) and larger computer suites.