Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Supporting Playful Learning with Information and Communications Technology in the Early Years

Funder: Esmee Fairbairn Trust 

Start Date: April 2010

End Date: May 2012 

Research Team:

Dr Sarah Oerton, University of Glamorgan
Dr Anita Naoko Pilgrim, Cardiff University 


This study, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation (£295,915) examined the extent to which an ICT intervention to enhance sustained shared thinking impacted on young children’s cognitive and linguistic outcomes. The project aimed to maximise the benefits of children’s early use of ICT whilst minimising the potential problems that may result from their use. It incorporated a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a programme which had been delivered in a partnership between the University of Swansea and Swansea LEA. The study applied standardised assessments to track the progress of 100+ children, aged 3-5 years, and of 100+ children in a comparable control group. Standardised instruments were also applied to assess the quality of the pre-school provision being made and a range of qualitative and survey data was collected to assess the wider effects of the intervention upon the children, their parents, pre-school practitioners and practice. 


An interim report was submitted to the Esmee Fairbairn Trust at the end of August 2010. Progress reports were submitted to the Trust every three months with the final report being submitted at the end of the project.




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