David Poveda

WG5 members held a two-day workshop / meeting in Madrid (Spain) 30 November-1 December 2017 co-hosted by the UAM Research Group “Infancia Contemporanea” (www.infanciacontemporanea.com). The goal of the meeting was to explore ethical issues relevant to researchers and practitioners in the area of early childhood digital practices and literacies. The meeting took place in the Centro Cultural La Corrala, a centre the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid runs in downtown Madrid to host research meetings, seminars, community outreach activities. The meeting was organized in two distinct working sessions that gathered researchers from across Europe involved in the COST Action and local practitioners/stakeholders who work with young children and/or digital media and education. The first working session focused on emergent ethical issues and dilemmas in research on the digital literacies and practices of young children. This part of the meeting involved primarily academic researchers -but also local professionals working in this field who were keen in engaging in this conversation- and focused on advancing tools to think about ethical issues and problems. The second working session was conducted in Spanish and involved primarily local practitioners from various settings (e.g. early childhood education, digital media consultancy, after-school support organizations or advocacy groups).

The second day was of particular interest to the goals of WG5 and the organization of the meeting. It served as a first experience and pilot event of a workshop-type event designed to engage professionals and practitioners with ethical questions in relation to young children’s experiences with digital technologies. It probed a working methodology, in this case with a diverse group of practitioners and professionals, that can be adapted to various conditions (in-service or pre-service training, single-session or multiple session events, etc.) and tailored to different “audiences” (i.e. teachers with a similar professional background or from a particular school, practitioners in different professional fields, etc.). Overall, our first assessment -as well as the feedback we received from the event- supports the feasibility of the format, which is currently being systematized and will potentially be “replicated” in other settings.

 

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