Research or Practice Paper
Main Lecture room – West Downs 2
Chair: Andy Connell
Time 9.35 – 10.35

This session will consider the following questions:

  1. How should young children learn about technology?
  2. What should we be doing to ensure firm foundations for Computing in Key Stage One and Beyond?


Raising Aspirations in Technology in the Early Years

Technology in Early Childhood is a contentious issue. Some see technology as potentially harmful to young children (House, 2012). Whereas, others stress the need for positive experiences with technology from a young age in order to prepare children to thrive within an increasingly technology driven society (Plowman, McPake & Stephen, 2012; Morgan & Siraj-Blatchford, 2013). In 2014, a new Computing curriculum became statutory for local authority maintained schools in England. This curriculum is taught from Key Stage One (from the age of five onwards). This paper explores best practice approaches to early childhood education;  calling for playful, imaginative and creative uses of technology that encourage collaboration and communication. In addition, the session will explore what should be done within Early Childhood practice to ensure firm foundations for the subject of computing in Key Stage One and beyond.

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Emma Goto is Senior Lecturer in Education (ITE). She completed a degree in psychology at the University of Dundee in 1995. After working briefly in marketing, she chose to move into the field of education. In 1996, after studying for a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CTEFLA), she moved to Japan and taught English in private language schools and public kindergartens.

Upon returning to the United Kingdom in 2000, Emma completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in primary education at King Alfred’s College. After qualifying, she spent seven years teaching in an infant school, during which time she qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST). As an AST she spent seven years supporting schools in Hampshire with their development of ICT. Although Emma had a real passion for ICT in primary education, she felt her own subject knowledge should be further developed. Therefore, she studied for an Undergraduate Diploma in computing through the University of Oxford, which she was awarded distinction in 2006. In 2009 Emma was seconded to a part-time role with Hampshire Local Authority as a learning platform consultant supporting the implementation of a learning platform in primary schools across Hampshire. In 2010 she moved to teach in a Hampshire primary school where she continued to support the practice of other teachers as an AST. Emma’s teaching experience in schools is predominantly in Key Stage One and the Early Years Foundation Stage.

In 2011 Emma completed her MAEd dissertation focusing on the implementation of learning platforms in three infant schools. She has been lecturing at the University of Winchester since 2013 and is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) at the University of Winchester. Her research is in the area of computational thinking. Emma lectures in Primary Education within Professional Studies, Early Years and ICT modules.