The use of technology to build digital communities

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


In today’s digital world social media has the potential to strengthen and broaden communities. It can provide a bridge between on and off-line communication, helping to strengthen links between children, parents and practitioners as they engage in shared activities (Carter Olson, 2016). Online communities can serve as an audience for sharing children’s digital products and experiences with a wider audience, and, as Magos (2013) suggest, international interactions can build intercultural understandings. When technology is used to build links between children across the world it can act as both a window and a mirror for young children: a ‘window’ to help them understand each other’s cultures and a ‘mirror’ to help develop their own identity (Cox and Galda, 1990). This chapter addresses the following themes: • the challenges and benefits of using online communities to enhance children’s learning; • how practitioners might use digital media in their daily interactions with children and as part of their own professional networking activities; • the role of technology in establishing links between children’s homes and early years settings. The chapter offers examples of these themes in practice through a detailed case study of how The Leicestershire Early Years Writing Project used technology to build communities of practice among practitioners, parents and children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung Children and their Communities
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding Collective Social Responsibility
EditorsGillian Sykes, Eleonora Teszenyi
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315151342
ISBN (Print)9781138558502, 9781138558526
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • Digital technology
  • communities of practice
  • early years


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