Boy looking at a laptop screen with his mum

The main objective was to create an interdisciplinary network that would advance understanding of young children’s digital literacy and multimodal practices in the new media age and which would build a co-ordinated European agenda for future research in this area.

It would develop Early Stage Researchers’ (ESR) capacity for future work and strengthen further the already leading position of Europe in this field. We engaged with policy makers in order to ensure impact on policy and practice with regard to parental support, early years’ schooling and informal education in museums, libraries and community spaces. This reflected a multifaceted approach to enhancing the digital literacy skills and future capacities of young children in Europe.

Our objectives were to:

  • Provide a means of drawing together current European interdisciplinary research on young children’s digital literacy and multimodal practices in homes, communities and early years settings. This would enable researchers across the COST countries collectively to identify gaps in knowledge, fostering co-ordinated and collaborative research.

  • Identify emergent digital technologies and applications relevant to young children and appraise their strengths and weaknesses in use in order to inform future research, policy and practice.

  • Identify best practice in digital and multimodal literacy learning and teaching in kindergartens and primary schools across Europe through a review of relevant research and consider the implications for policy and practice, in addition to identifying the practical and theoretical implications for teacher and early years’ practitioner training.

  • Exchange knowledge on appropriate methodologies and ethical issues when researching young children’s digital literacy and multimodal practices and foster innovation in this area.

  • Provide training for early stage researchers and strengthen links between them and established experts in the field.

  • Engage actively with a range of stakeholders, including policymakers, early years practitioners, parent groups and the children’s media industry in order to explore the implications of research outcomes for policy, practice, curricula, pedagogy and community-based learning.