The role of digital technologies in supporting quality improvement in Australian early childhood education and care settings
International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy
School of Education
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
This national study explored the role of digital technologies in early childhood education and care settings and whether they could contribute to quality improvement as reported by educators and assessors of quality in Australia. In this paper, data from Stage 2 of the Quality Improvement Research Project were used, which comprised 60 Quality Improvement Plans from educators linked with 60 Assessment and Rating reports from the assessors who visited early childhood centres as part of the administration of the National Quality Standards by each of Australia’s State and Territory jurisdictions. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner, U. (1995).Developmental ecology through space and time: A future perspective. In P. Moen, G.H. Elder, Jr., & K. Lüscher (Eds.), Examining lives in context: Perspectives on the ecologyof human development (pp. 619 – 647). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/10176-018; Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, Bronfenbrenner and Ceci, Psychological Review 101:568 – 586, 1994) was adopted to facilitate a systemic and dynamic view on the use of digital technologies in these 60 ECEC settings. References (e.g. comments/ suggestions/ examples) made by the educators about the implementation of digital technologies were counted and thematically analysed. Results revealed the strong role new technologies (e.g. documentation and management platforms, tablets, apps, etc.) play in the majority of ECEC settings and especially in relation to three of the seven Quality Areas: Educational programme and practice (Quality Area 1); Collaborative partnerships with families and communities (Quality Area 6) and Governance and leadership (Quality Area 7). Future directions for research are suggested and implications for embracing a more holistic, integrated and broad view on the use of digital technologies are discussed.
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Hatzigianni, M., Stephenson, T., Harrison, L. J., Waniganayake, M., Li, P., Barblett, L., ... & Irvine, S. (2023). The role of digital technologies in supporting quality improvement in Australian early childhood education and care settings. International journal of child care and education policy, 17, Article 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40723-023-00107-6