Digital Literacy for Kindergarten




Westwood, Tracey

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Digital technology is interwoven into many aspects of our lives. In British Columbia (B.C.), there is no escaping the necessity for teaching children how to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) safely and responsibly. For many early childhood educators, the question of whether digital literacy education truly needs to begin in kindergarten persists. The purpose of this paper is to examine this question through a review of the relevant literature. The review seeks to find the why and the how of incorporating ICT into early learning. Some of the research reveals a resistance to using ICT with children, citing the expense of purchasing and maintaining technology, and the negative effects of screens on children’s health and social growth. Other research acknowledges that problems exist but can be offset by the manner in which educators use ICT. Technology used to enhance learning in a thoughtful and appropriate way can have many cognitive, social, and physical benefits for children. The research also addresses the question of why digital literacy education should begin early as there are already vast differences between children’s digital skills, beliefs, and habits even before they enter school. Some of the studies in this review find that educators are in need of professional development opportunities that allow them to learn how to teach the digital skills learners need to make ICT use a positive addition to the curriculum. As a result of this review, this project was created to include an educator’s guide for introducing digital literacy to kindergarten students. It is grounded in B.C.’s curriculum and B.C.’s Digital Literacy Framework (B.C. Ministry of Education, n.d.). It is a simple, scripted guide that any educator should be able to apply regardless of their own skill level as they work toward incorporating ICT into their own practice.



Kindergarten, Digital Literacy, technology, BC Digital Literacy Framework, young learners, ICT