As fast-evolving technologies transform everyday communication and literacy practices, many young children find themselves immersed in multiple digital media from birth. Such rapid technological change has consequences for the development of early literacy, and the ways in which parents and educators are able to equip today’s young citizens for a digital future.

This seminal Handbook fulfils an urgent need to consider how digital technologies are impacting the lives and learning of young children; and how childhood experiences of using digital resources can serve as the foundation for present and future development. Considering children aged 0–8 years, chapters explore the diversity of young children’s literacy skills, practices and expertise across digital tools, technologies and media, in varied contexts, settings and countries.

The Handbook explores six significant areas:

  • Part I presents an overview of research into young children’s digital literacy practices, touching on a range of theoretical, methodological and ethical approaches.
  • Part II considers young children’s reading, writing and meaning-making when using digital media at home and in the wider community.
  • Part III offers an overview of key challenges for early childhood education presented by digital literacy, and discusses political positioning and curricula.
  • Part IV focuses on the multimodal and multi-sensory textual landscape of contemporary literary practices, and how children learn to read and write with and across media.
  • Part V considers how digital technologies both influence and are influenced by children’s online and offline social relationships.
  • Part VI draws together themes from across the Handbook, to propose an agenda for future research into digital literacies in early childhood.

A timely resource identifying and exploring pedagogies designed to bolster young children’s digital and multimodal literacy practices, this key text will be of interest to early childhood educators, researchers and policy-makers.

chapter |16 pages


The emerging field of digital literacies in early childhood

part II|76 pages

Young children’s digital literacy practices in homes, communities and informal learning spaces

chapter 6|14 pages

Young children’s digital literacy practices in the home

Past, present and future research directions

chapter 11|11 pages

“You know what’s glitching?”

Emergent digital literacies in video game play

part III|86 pages

Young children’s digital literacy practices in early education settings

chapter 15|13 pages

Young children’s digital play in early childhood settings

Curriculum, pedagogy and teachers’ knowledge

chapter 16|15 pages

Remixing emergent literacy education

Cross-age, plurilingual, multimedia adventures in narrative teaching and learning

chapter 17|13 pages

Posthuman theory as a tool to explore literacy desirings

Sara-Taylor-iPad-Book becoming in Writers’ Studio

part IV|67 pages

Reading and writing on screen

chapter 18|13 pages

Young children’s writing in the 21st century

The challenge of moving from paper to screen

chapter 20|13 pages

Children’s reading in the digital age

A research summary of children’s digital books

part V|93 pages

Negotiating digital literacy lives in hybrid virtual and physical spaces

chapter 24|12 pages

Virtual play

Developing a baroque sensibility

chapter 25|12 pages

The quantified child

Discourses and practices of dataveillance in different life stages

chapter 26|11 pages

Minecraft ‘worldness’ in family life

Children’s digital play and socio-material literacy practices

chapter 27|14 pages

Digital literacy practices in children’s everyday life

Participating in on-screen and off-screen activities

chapter 28|11 pages

P(l)aying online

Toys, apps and young consumers on transmedia playgrounds

chapter 29|14 pages

Webs of relationships

Young children’s engagement with Web searching